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Pitt's Mike Shanahan off to strong start

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images

After three solid but unspectacular seasons, Pitt senior wide receiver Mike Shanahan may be ready to break out in 2012.

So far this year, Shanahan already has 21 catches for 368 yards and three touchdowns through four games. Last season, the wideout finished with a fairly modest 39 catches, 493 yards, and four touchdowns. He's already found the end zone through four games as much as he did all of last season and with a pace of 63 catches, nine touchdowns, and about 1,100 yards, Shanahan should significantly improve upon his 2011 stats.

It's still a bit early, though, to decide what his fate might be in the 2013 NFL Draft. At 6-foot-5, he has the size necessary to play at the next level, but he's lacking a bit in the speed department. But so far, he's found a nice niche in the Panthers' offense and appears to have become the favorite target of quarterback Tino Sunseri.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.