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Starting Pitt safety Damar Hamlin gets another year of eligibility

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It was good news on the eligibility front for the Pitt Panthers football program Wednesday.

According to the school, Damar Hamlin has been granted another season of eligibility.  The move by the NCAA will allow the starting safety to return to the Pitt Panthers football program and play in 2020.

The upcoming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.

“We’re thrilled that Damar was able to receive a fifth year,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said in a statement. “We weren’t certain after our bowl game what the future would hold. We really appreciate the efforts of our compliance staff as Damar went through this process. I know Damar is ready to take full advantage—academically, athletically and personally—of his final year at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Hamlin was a four-star 2016 signee, rated as the No. 4 player regardless of position in the state of Pennsylvania.  He played in just three games as a true freshman because of injury, which allowed for the extra season of eligibility.

A two-year starter, Hamlin has started a total of 30 games during his time at Pitt.

Pitt RB V’Lique Carter enters transfer portal

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In his first game with the Pitt Panthers football team, V’Lique Carter shined.  Two seasons later, he’s gone.  Well, at least, he’s partially gone.

Wednesday morning, a Pitt Panthers football official confirmed to CFT that Carter’s name is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.  It had been reported Tuesday that the running back was set to enter the portal.

Coming out of high school in Florida, Carter was a three-star 2018 signee.  He originally came to the Pitt Panthers football program as a defensive back, but was moved to running back midway through his true freshman season.

Carter ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns (on seven carries) during his backfield debut in Pitt’s win over Duke in late October of 2018.  After that, his single-game high was 47 yards (this past October).  Those were the only two rushing touchdowns during his time with the Panthers as well.

For the Pitt portion of his playing career, Carter will apparently finish with 445 yards on the ground.  Of those, 243 came during the 2019 season.

Carter was also a threat out of the backfield as he caught 17 passes for 183 yards and two more touchdowns in 2019.  Those were the second-most among for any Panthers running back.

Barring the unexpected, Carter will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He would then have two years of eligibility starting in 2021.

Western Michigan officially adds transfers from Pitt, Michigan State, Nevada

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It was a busy day on the personnel front for the Western Michigan football program.

Friday, WMU announced the additions of three transfers from FBS schools — defensive back Therran Coleman, running back Jaxson Kincaide and running back La’Darius Jefferson.  Coleman (Pitt) and Kincaide (Nevada), come to WMU as graduate transfers.  Jefferson (Michigan State) will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He’ll then have two years of eligibility beginning in 2020.

During his four years at Nevada, Kincaide ran for 894 yards and six touchdowns on 199 carries.  He also caught 38 passes for another 316 yards and three touchdowns.

Prior to his decision to enter the NCAA transfer database in late September, Kincaide played in just four games, which allowed him to use a redshirt and preserve a season of eligibility.  It had previously been reported that Kincaide would be transferring to the Broncos.

In two seasons at Michigan State, Jefferson ran for 280 yards and four touchdowns on 97 carries.  His best season came as a true freshman as he ran the ball 28 times for 255 yards and a pair of scores.

Coleman played in 34 games over the past three seasons for the Panthers and was credited with 18 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.

Addition of Arizona State transfer QB Joey Yellen by Pitt made official

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Thanks to Arizona State, Pitt has added a potential future starter under center in Joey Yellen.

Late last week, it was reported that Yellen was headed to Pitt.  Monday, the ACC school confirmed the quarterback’s addition to the roster.  The program stated it’s “anticipated” that Yellen will have to sit out the 2020 season.  That would leave the true freshman with three years of eligibility to use beginning in 2021.

Still at Arizona State, Joey Yellen had added his name to the NCAA transfer database last month.

“Joey’s recruitment happened incredibly fast,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “(Offensive coordinator) Mark Whipple made contact with him immediately after he went into the portal in mid-December. Joey wanted to be enrolled for the upcoming semester so we basically did an unofficial visit over FaceTime since it was a dead period. Even in that tight window, everyone did their homework. I know Joey is excited to be at Pitt and we’re thrilled to get a great person and quarterback.”

A four-star 2019 signee, Yellen was rated as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback in the country. Yellen was one of three true freshmen, and a redshirt junior, who competed for the Sun Devils’ starting job in summer camp. That competition was won by Jayden Daniels, who maintained the job throughout the season.

Yellen did make one start, against USC when Daniels was injured. In that game, Yellen completed 28-of-44 passes for 292 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Those were his only attempts of the season in serving as Daniels’ primary backup.

Arizona State QB Joey Yellen transferring to Pitt

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After beginning his collegiate career at Arizona State, Joey Yellen is headed to the other side of the country to continue it.

Last month, Yellen entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. Nearly three weeks later, Rivals.com has reported that the quarterback is transferring to Pitt.

According to the site, Yellen is enrolling in classes for the spring semester, which starts Monday, Jan. 6.

Barring an unexpected waiver being granted, Yellen will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws. In 2021, he would have three years of eligibility to use.

A four-star 2019 signee, Yellen was rated as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback in the country. Yellen was one of three true freshmen, and a redshirt junior, who competed for the Sun Devils’ starting job in summer camp. That competition was won by Jayden Daniels, who maintained the job throughout the season.

Yellen did make one start, against USC when Daniels was injured. In that game, Yellen completed 28-of-44 passes for 292 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Those were his only attempts of the season in serving as Daniels’ primary backup.

Daniels finished his first season with 2,943 yards, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. he completed nearly 61 percent of his 338 pass attempts. The true freshman was second on the team with 355 yards rushing as well.

Following the regular season, Daniels earned an honorable mention for the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year that went to USC quarterback Kedon Slovis.

Yellen was actually the second player at the position to leave the quarterback-heavy Sun Devils.  In late October, the redshirt junior involved in the competition, Dillon Sterling-Cole, announced that he was entering the transfer portal.  He graduated from ASU last month and will have one year of eligibility that he could use at another FBS school in 2020.