Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett will prep for 2022 NFL Draft, won’t play in Peach Bowl
from Adam Stites, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Kenny Pickett’s collegiate career is over, the Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback announced Thursday night, leaving the team without its senior leader for the school’s biggest bowl game in decades.
Pickett, 23, was a Heisman Trophy finalist after throwing 42 touchdown passes with seven interceptions along with five rushing touchdowns. Pittsburgh finished the year 11-2 and won the ACC Championship for the first time since joining the conference in 2013.
“I am thankful for all of the friendships I’ve made and I look forward to keeping these bonds as we move on to the next chapter of our lives,” Pickett’s statement reads, in part. “To the fans, thank you for all of your support throughout my career. I am incredibly proud to say I was a part of the team that brought back another trophy to the City of Champions. With love and gratitude, I have decided to forgo the Peach Bowl and begin training for the 2022 NFL Draft.”
Pickett is the No. 20 prospect in the draft class and the top quarterback, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.
Pittsburgh was a consistent power in the ’70s and early ’80s with multiple appearances in the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl. But the only major bowl game in the last 40 years came when the Panthers were blown out, 35-7, by the Utah Utes in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. The team is set to play Michigan State on Dec. 30 and will likely turn to junior Nick Patti to start in Pickett’s stead.