Ex-Ocean Township High School standout Kenny Pickett will return as the University of Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback in 2021. Photo credit: The University of Pittsburgh
By CHRIS CHRISTOPHER
Former Ocean Township High School standout Kenny Pickett, the University of Pittsburgh’s star quarterback, said on his Twitter page he will return to the Panthers for the 2021 season.
“A lot of thought went into it,” said Pickett, who utilized the NCAA’s blanket waiver to return. “I am very excited. I talked to my coaches, my family and Peyton Manning about it. I am comfortable in finishing my last year at Pittsburgh. I appreciate all of the support my fans have given me. I have to get prepared for the fall season. I will hold my teammates accountable and we will play really, really hard.”
Pickett was one of the top signal callers in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season as a senior, completing 203 of 332 passes for 2,408 yards and 13 touchdowns in nine games. He missed two games because of an ankle injury. He completed 61.1 percent of his passes and averaged 267.6 passing yards per game. His longest pass devoured 75 yards. He threw nine interceptions.
The owner of a 129.6 efficiency rating, he paced the Panthers to a 6-5 overall record. Pittsburgh was bowl eligible, but declined to compete because of COVID-19. Pickett led the Panthers in rushing touchdowns with eight. He rushed for 145 yards on 81 carries. He averaged 16.11 rushing yards per game.
Prior to his senior season, Pickett was nominated for the following awards: All-American, Davey O’Brien Award (best college quarterback in the nation), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation’s top senior/fourth-year junior quarterback) and the Manning Award (college football’s outstanding quarterback.
Pickett, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, owns a bachelor’s degree in marketing and is enrolled in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business.
In pro football:
Curry update: Former Neptune and Marshall University star Vinny Curry, a Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, made 12 solo tackles and added four assists and three sacks during the 2020 season.
Curry, 32, appeared in 16 games. The ninth-year pro is a 6-foot-3, 279-pounder.
Kirkwood update: Wide receiver Keith Kirkwood, who starred for Neptune, the University of Hawaii and Temple University, caught one pass for 13 yards for the Carolina Panthers in 2020.
Slowe by a broken clavicle during training camp, Kirkwood played in one game.
Now on injured reserve, Kirkwood, 26, played under coach Matt Ruhle at Temple. Ruhle recently completed his first season as the Panthers’ coach. Kirkwood, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, is a three-year pro. The Panthers signed Kirkwood as a free agent prior to the 2020 season. He made the New Orleans Saints’ roster as an undrafted free agent out of Temple. He played two seasons with the Saints.
In men’s collegiate basketball:
Lewis update: Sophomore guard Scottie Lewis, the former Ranney School standout, is among the University of Florida’s top players.
He was third on the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game through his first seven games of the season, all starts. He was second on the Gators in minutes, averaging 30.0 per game. He was 25-for-51 from the field (.490 percent), including seven of 16 (.438 percent) from long range.
He buried 29 of 37 free throws (.784 percent). He paced the team in blocked shots (11) and was second on the club in steals (11). He added 15 assists.
In a nationally televised game on CBS, Lewis scored 17 points and added five rebounds, two assists and two steals in an 83-79 win over Louisiana State University in 38 minutes.
He was five of 10 from the field, including 0-for-3 from beyond the arc, and seven of nine from the foul line.
Lewis is a 6-foot-5, 189-pounder.
In women’s collegiate basketball:
Andrews update: Former Neptune and St. Rose standout Makayla Andrews is a Lafayette College freshman guard.
Andrews, who starred at Neptune for two seasons before transferring to St. Rose, averaged 4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 15.5 minutes per game as a reserve through her first two games of the season for the Leopards as a reserve. She was four of 10 from the field, including 0-for-3 from downtown.
Andrews added one assist and one block.
Contact Chris Christopher at email@example.com. Check out Chris on Twitter (@cchristophernn) and Facebook (Chris Christopher).