Reggie Mitchell is able to get the field this year, after sitting out last year as a transfer from Wisconsin.
Mitchell, a former local product from Shady Side Academy, was recruited to Wisconsin by offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph. He admits, at the time Paul Chryst was hired at Pitt, he wanted to flip his commitment to the Panthers because of the coaching staff. But, he understood Chryst didn't want to poach the Wisconsin recruiting class.
"Coach Chryst wanted to remain faithful to them, so he didn't want to take me away," Mitchell says. "I did have a little split decision, on whether I wanted to come here."
Mitchell signed with Wisconsin, and played his true freshman season. However, he was dealt a coaching change when Bret Bielema left to take the head coaching job at Arkansas. It left the door open for Mitchell to transfer to Pittsburgh--back home, and with the original staff that recruited him.
After sitting out last year, Mitchell now finds himself in a position battle at safety.
Rachid Ibrahim may be the third option at running back, but already in his short time at Pitt, he's seen how quickly an opportunity can become available.
Ibrahaim was a late offer coming out of Bethesda (MD) Avalon School. He rushed for a school-record 4,835 yards in his prep career. Then, he was offered by Pitt as a safety, committing to the Panthers in October of 2012. By the time he arrived for summer conditioning, he was moved to running back.
Ibrahim ended up playing in all 13 games, seeing mostly reserve time at running back, but also playing a role in special teams. With three running backs signed for 2014, and with Isaac Bennett and James Conner back for 2014, Ibrahim might be the forgotten man. However, with Bennett and Conner out for the remainder of spring, Ibrahaim once again finds himself as arguably Pitt's most important player.
Despite the loss of Bennett and Conner, Ibrahim will now get the bulk of the work at running back for the remainder of the spring. It might be by default because of injury. But, already in his short time as a Panther, Ibrahim was already shown how valuable and important he is to the team's depth at running back. Another week working with the first group will not only benefit him, but also saves the offense.