Football: Romeus to undergo back surgery

By Tony Jovenitti

There have been questions and rumors surrounding Pitt’s star defensive end Greg Romeus’… There have been questions and rumors surrounding Pitt’s star defensive end Greg Romeus’ health for several weeks, but now it’s official: Romeus, a senior, will undergo back surgery on Thursday.

“Our top priority is doing what is best for Greg,” head coach Dave Wannstedt said in a statement. “After consulting with him, his family and our medical staff, it was determined that immediate surgery is the best option for Greg both personally and athletically.”

Last year, Romeus notched 43 tackles, 11.5 of which were for losses, and led the team in sacks with eight. Those stats, with the addition of three forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a blocked extra point attempt, earned him high praises from both the Big East and the national media.

He was a unanimous first team All-Big East selection as well as a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award (TCU’s Jerry Hughes won the award). He was also selected for three different All-America teams (, Sporting News and Rivals).

The national spotlight got the attention of some NFL scouts, and Romeus has high prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft. CBS Sports has him ranked as the No. 30 overall prospect in this year’s class.

Romeus played in Pitt’s first game at Utah and tallied four tackles, but he was absent for Pitt’s home game against New Hampshire on Saturday. In the post-game press conference, Wannstedt said Romeus went home to Florida for “personal reasons.”

But Wannstedt remained hopeful that Romeus will return for the Panthers.

“We expect him to have a full recovery and return for the conclusion of the season,” Wannstedt said Tuesday.