PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 22: The new University of Pittsburgh head football coach, Paul Chryst, speaks during a press conference on December 22, 2011 at the University of Pittsburgh Panthers South Side training facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Four players who Pitt's coaches feel will contribute have earned scholarships for the 2012 season, Paul Chryst told his team Thursday.
Head coach Paul Chryst rewarded four players who have shown their worth to Pittsburgh with athletic scholarships Thursday, including several starters.
With the season opener against Youngstown State a little over a week away, Chryst announced to his team that juniors Kevin Barthelemy and Matt Yoklic, sophomore Mark Giubilato, and true freshman Chris Wuestner were no longer walk-ons. Barthelemy and Yoklic started for the team last year on special teams, with Barthelemy finishing second in the Big East in punting while Yoklic fed him the ball as the long snapper, but the Panthers' brief head coach Todd Graham apparently reneged an earlier promise made by Dave Wannstedt to give the pair scholarships if they earned starting jobs. Giubilato has switched positions multiple times since initially committing to Temple as a quarterback, and is now the team's starting fullback. It's unclear what role Wuestner will have - he's only a freshman - but apparently his performance thus far has been enough to convince the coaches that he is worth getting a scholarship for the next four years.