Pitt RB Israel Abanikanda Invited to the 2023 NFL Mix
The NFL Mix is probably the premier occasion of the offseason for draft hopefuls to make a mark.
It’s a week-long spectacle at Lucas Oil Stadium, the place the highest NFL Draft prospects run drills, have their measurables recorded and check themselves bodily for NFL personnel, and Israel Abanikanda will probably be in attendance this yr.
Abanikanda introduced on his Instagram that he has been invited to the 2023 NFL Mix, which is able to take over the primary week of March.
It’s a great opportunity for Abanikanda to showcase his measurables (5-foot-11, 215 kilos) and his explosive athleticism. He was one of the explosive breakaway threats in faculty soccer final season, so his 40-yard sprint time will probably be anticipated.
Abanikanda completed fourth in all-purpose yards (1,805 yards) and second in all-purpose yards per recreation (164 yards) in faculty soccer final season, and he led the nation in whole touchdowns (21).
He rushed for 1,431 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2022, averaging six yards per try, and he added 146 receiving yards and 228 kickoff return yards. It’s not unfair to say he stored Pitt’s offense afloat throughout a generally lackluster general exhibiting in 2022.
In his Pitt profession, Abanikanda rushed for two,177 yards and 28 touchdowns on 390 carries, racked up 354 yards and three touchdowns on 38 receptions and returned 19 kickoffs for 434 yards and a landing.
Abanikanda’s junior season ranks because the eighth-best single-season effort in Pitt historical past, and his 320 yards and 6 touchdowns towards Virginia Tech broke and tied, respectively, single-game information.
His 28 profession touchdowns additionally rank eighth in staff historical past, whereas he’s simply one among 4 Pitt gamers to hurry for a minimum of 20 touchdowns in a single season.
In a current Prime 15 NFL Draft rating launched by The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, he listed Abanikanda as his ninth-ranked operating again within the class. With a powerful exhibiting on the mix, Abanikanda — one of many youngest operating backs within the draft — might see his draft inventory shoot up.
WATCH: Response From Pitt’s Fourth Spring Observe
PITTSBURGH — The second week of spring observe down on the South Aspect has kicked off, and Pat Narduzzi spoke with the media — together with PSN’s Karl Ludwig — for the primary time.
Together with Narduzzi, Brandon George, Nahki Johnson and Konata Mumpfield additionally made media appearances, detailing their springs and the progress they’ve made and aspirations they nonetheless maintain going ahead.
Pitt Publicizes Gamers that may Compete in Professional Day
Pitt introduced that 13 gamers are prone to happen in this system’s Professional Day subsequent Wednesday, March 29 at UPMC Rooney Sports activities Advanced on the South Facet.
Offensive linemen in Owen Drexel, Marcus Minor, Gabe Houy and Carter Warren, defensive linemen in Habakkuk Baldonado, Calijah Kancey and Deslin Alexandre, linebackers in SirVocea Dennis and Tylar Wiltz, defensive backs in Erick Hallett II and Brandon Hill, working again Israel Abanikanda and vast receiver Jared Wayne spherical out the 13 gamers that this system expects to take part within the Professional Day.
Pitt’s Professional Day will begin within the weight room with the 225-pound bench press after which the person measurements of the gamers.
Then, the gamers will partake in a wide range of drills which are just like the NFL Mix. just like the vertical bounce, broad bounce, 40-yard sprint, three-cone drill and professional shuttle. There will even be place work for the person gamers, displaying off their strengths at their respective roles on the sector.
There already had been a couple of Pitt gamers that participated within the NFL Mix in Indianapolis from Feb. 28 to March 6.
Kancey made Nationwide headlines when he ran the 40-yard sprint in 4.67 seconds, the quickest for a defensive lineman since 2000, breaking the earlier report held by Panthers legend Aaron Donald. Kancey is projected by many draft analysts as a First Spherical draft decide in April.
Hill additionally drew consideration to himself from NFL scouts as he ran the quickest 40-yard sprint of any security on the NFL Mix at 4.43 seconds.
Some of the necessary viewings for Pitt Professional Day will probably be Abanikanda’s 40-yard sprint. Abanikanda selected to not run the 40-yard sprint on the NFL Mix and to as an alternative do it at his Professional Day.
Warren will even return to take part within the Pitt Professional Day as properly. Warren suffered a torn meniscus final season, which pressured him out of the latter a part of his remaining season with this system. He mentioned on the NFL Mix three weeks in the past that he’s more healthy publish surgical procedure than he was prior.
Dennis and Baldonado additionally competed on the NFL Mix and can have one other alternative to impress scouts subsequent Wednesday.
Pitt Lands Dedication from 2024 3-Star Nebraska TE Eric Ingwerson
Eric Ingwerson had a guidelines at the back of his thoughts as he visited Pitt over the weekend. He wasn’t planning on committing after flying in, however as every field was checked off, he had no different alternative.
Ingwerson — a 6-foot-7, 235-pound tight finish from Papillion-La Vista Excessive in Papillion, Nebraska — made it out to Pittsburgh for an unofficial go to, testing spring ball down on the South Aspect, and after he formally picked up a suggestion, he one-upped it. He informed the workers that he had seen sufficient.
“If they’d that household really feel, if I felt at house, and on high of that, if it was my first Energy 5, I used to be committing,” Ingwerson informed PSN. “And (Pitt) had all of that, they checked all of the bins.”
Ingwerson formally dedicated over the weekend and introduced it through Twitter Tuesday afternoon — changing into the sixth commit in Pitt’s class of 2024.
It was Ingwerson’s first time in Pittsburgh over the weekend, and the possibility to take a look at the town and see for himself how apply is run was superior, after all, however it was the connections he’s constructed — seeing these relationships blossom in individual — that made him really feel snug in pledging himself to Pitt.
Ingwerson constructed a relationship with tight ends coach Tim Salem over the previous couple of months, ever since Salem despatched him a graphic over social media, and it’s a relationship that solely obtained stronger because it transitioned from digital to in-person. Salem is an enormous motive why he felt snug committing, however it was really the entire package deal.
“Coming into the town via the bridge, you simply see the attractive metropolis, and then you definitely look to your left and there’s the attractive stadium, and also you get the midwestern really feel,” Ingwerson mentioned. “I simply actually beloved it. It felt like house, after which after I met coach Salem, he was an excellent cool man.
“Assembly with all of the coaches, it felt like I used to be speaking to household. And it simply actually had that household feeling, and clearly, all of the services are good, which is a plus, so I’d simply say they’re folks individuals. That’s an enormous factor for me, relationships.”
Ingwerson picked up his supply from head coach Pat Narduzzi himself over the weekend, which positively was not misplaced upon him, and he felt like as he watched Salem coach the tight ends, it was a spot he belonged.
“Simply watching them in apply, they seemed like they have been having enjoyable,” Ingwerson mentioned. “And I simply felt like I may actually slot in there with the playstyle and their route working and blocking. And I really feel like the way in which coach Salem coaches, he’s extra of a trainer coach, and I really like that, in order that’s additionally an enormous motive why I dedicated as a result of I really feel like I match within the tight ends room.”
In 10 video games as a junior at Papillion-La Vista, in a run-heavy scheme, which he embraced, he hauled in 10 receptions for 175 yards and three touchdowns. It’s not a season that jumps off the web page statistically, and his largest asset proper now could also be blocking, however at 6-foot-7, he’s definitely a crimson zone menace.
“I’m a really aggressive blocker, and for those who put me ultimately zone, it’s gonna be a head high,” Ingwerson mentioned.
247Sports charges Ingwerson because the 148th-ranked athlete and the Eleventh-ranked recruit from Nebraska whereas Rivals and On3 haven’t but, that can change quickly. With affords from Northern Illinois and Northern Iowa, and curiosity from Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Iowa State, his nationwide model will rise.
Ingwerson is prepared for Pitt followers to observe him present out on the sector, however he’s very keen to point out that it’s his laborious work and dedication in each facet of his recreation that can shine via.
He’s Pitt’s sixth recruit within the class of 2024, the primary tight finish within the class and the primary tight finish landed because the class of 2021. He joins four-stars DayDay Farmer (Cocoa, Florida) and Jahsear Whittington (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and three-stars Juelz Goff (York, Pennsylvania), Francis Brewu (Columbus, Ohio) and Ty Tuhas (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
Pitt has recruited tight ends laborious within the class of 2024, and with Ingwerson’s dedication, it’s clear that Pitt’s workers has discovered a recruit that matches quite a lot of bins. Simply as Pitt did for him
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