Pitt beat Writer Jerry DiPaola, Penn State Beat Writer Bob Cohn and West Virginia Beat Writer Bill West preview the bowl season. Brought to you by Frank Walker Law.
Pitt safety Jordan Whitehead added another prestigious postseason honor today when he was named to the Sporting News Freshman All-America Team.
This is the latest recognition for Whitehead, a product of Aliquippa, Pa., and Central Valley High School. His additional postseason honors include:
• USA TODAY Freshman All-America Team
• Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year (media)
• Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Rookie of the Year (coaches; shared with Pitt tailback Qadree Ollison)
• Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year (coaches and media)
• All-ACC (third team selection; coaches and media)
The Panthers’ leading tackler this season, Whitehead has compiled 99 stops. His average of 8.2 tackles per game ranks ninth in the ACC and he is the only freshman among the league’s top 20 tacklers.
Whitehead’s 99 tackles are the most by a Pitt true freshman in 28 years, dating back to defensive lineman Marc Spindler in 1987. Spindler had 106 tackles during the ‘87 season and is the only Pitt true freshman to compile 100 stops.
The last time a true or redshirt freshman led Pitt in tackles for the season was in 1999 when free safety Ramon Walker, a redshirt frosh, had 131 stops.
In the final month of the regular season, Whitehead began taking snaps on offense and is averaging 7.9 yards per rush (79 yards on 10 carries) with two touchdowns. He also has two receptions.
Whitehead and the Panthers (8-4) will face No. 21/22 Navy (10-2) in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on December 28 in Annapolis, Md. The game will be televised by ESPN and kick off at 2:30 p.m.