Pitt football begins phased return to campus

Pitt football is taking the first steps toward a possible fall season with a phased return to campus in preparation for voluntary offseason workouts.

The process began Sunday, when about half of the Panthers' incoming freshman class, including offensive tackle Branson Taylor, wide receiver Jaylon Barden and defensive back Rashad Battle, moved into campus housing.

It continues in earnest today, as members of the football team enter a period of quarantine to begin the first phase of Pitt's offseason model in hopes of conducting an August training camp.
Once medically cleared, players can enter the next phase of supervised workouts with Pitt's strength and training staff. Those workouts will be limited to a maximum of 10 players. Meeting and workouts will follow social distancing guidelines, and players and staff are subject to daily screening and temperature checks.

“Our football program is incredibly fortunate to have world-class medical experts and resources at our immediate disposal,” Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi said in a statement regarding the phased return. “We are taking their guidance and advice every step of the way for every activity we’ll engage in this offseason and beyond.”

Dayon Hayes, a defensive lineman from Westinghouse, is part of an 18-player recruiting class and one of three four-star recruits (Battle and defensive back Jahvante Royal are the others) according to rivals.com. The class ranks 44th nationally and eighth in the ACC.

Pitt conducted three of its 15 scheduled spring football practice sessions before canceling the remainder because of the coronavirus pandemic. The team's last workout was March 6, though players have trained individually and in small groups -- in the Pittsburgh area and abroad.

Several returning players already are back in Pittsburgh.

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