Two players previously attached to a move to Pittsburgh have officially been added to that ACC program’s roster.
Pitt announced Friday that first-year head coach Pat Narduzzi has added three players to his 2015 squad, including defensive end Dewayne Hendrix and defensive tackle Mark Scarpinato. The former is transferring in from Tennessee, the latter from Michigan State.
Hendrix will be forced to sit out the 2015 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2016. As a graduate transfer, Scarpinato will be eligible to play immediately in this season.
Back in mid-December, UT head coach Butch Jones announced that Hendrix was one of two Vols planning to leave the program. A search for a greater opportunity at meaningful playing time was part of the impetus for the decision.
A four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class, Hendrix was rated as the No. 5 strongside defensive end in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Illinois; and the No. 78 recruit over all by Rivals.com. He played in seven games as a true freshman last season.
“Dewayne is an explosive player with big-play capability,” Narduzzi said. “We are looking to strengthen our numbers and production at defensive end and Dewayne is a key addition in that regard. In addition to his athleticism, he will also bring great maturity to the position.”
Scarpinato played in 14 games in 2013, but retired following that season in order to focus on medical school. He did not play football last season, instead spending it enrolled at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Narduzzi, of course, was MSU’s defensive coordinator during Scarpinato’s three seasons with the Spartans.
“I obviously know Mark very well from our time together at Michigan State,” Narduzzi said. “He is a very athletic player for a defensive tackle. Mark has great knowledge of the game. He has the mental and physical abilities to play both tackle and end for us.”
The third addition announced Friday was JUCO All-American wide receiver Rafael Araujo-Lopes. He will be eligible to play in 2015 as well.