Well-Traveled Tom Savage Should Win Pitt Panthers QB Competition

By Tyler Brett
The Star-Ledger – USA TODAY Sports

The Pitt Panthers will open spring practice with four quarterbacks on their roster an no starter named for next fall. While it will officially be an open competition, there is already a pair of quarterbacks who are looking to go head-to-head for the starting job in 2013. At the end of the day, it should be the well-traveled Tom Savage who emerges as the leader of the Pitt offense.

Savage comes to Pittsburgh by way of a windy road with stops on the rosters of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Arizona Wildcats. His freshman season with Rutgers, Savage threw for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns before transferring to Arizona, where he didn’t play in any games, before eventually coming to Pitt. He has the most starting experience of anyone on the roster and brings a tall frame with a big-arm that fits well into a pr0-style offense.

Head coach Paul Chryst is happy to have him, though he knows he’s still unproven.

“You’ve got Tommy Savage, who’s got the most experience, and that was as a freshman at a different school. I like everything he’s done since he’s come on campus. He’s done everything you’d want him to do, now he has to go out and compete and earn his spot.”

His main competition for the job will be redshirt freshman Chad Voytik. The No. 4 rated pocket passer in the 2012 recruiting class, Voytik was brought in by former Pitt coach Todd Graham but stayed in the system last year, though he didn’t receive a great deal of reps. The young Cleveland, Tennessee, native is more athletic than Savage and has a very high ceiling, but may not be as ready to step in and start right away as the older Savage, who is down to his last year of eligibility.

Chryst doesn’t shy away from one-and-done transfer quarterbacks, so he won’t hesitate to go with Savage if he feels like he gives him the best opportunity to win. Back when Chryst was the offensive coordinator for the Wisconsin Badgers, he had huge success with one-year transfer starter Russell Wilson. It stands to reason he’d be open to the idea of a single season from Savage if he felt he gave them the best opportunity, which he does.

Tom Savage could have been a big star at Rutgers, but circumstances sent him traveling across the country trying to find a football home. He has found it in Pittsburgh and he is ready to step up and play to his fullest potential.

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