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Max Browne on Unitas Golden Arm Preseason Watch List

The watch lists keep coming. Pitt quarterback Max Browne was named to his first one this year as he finds himself on the preseason list for the Unitas Golden Arm Award.

That award is a little different than most in that you have to be either a senior or a fourth-year junior to win it. So a lot of the top quarterbacks will automatically be out of consideration for it right away.

Browne is one of the biggest question marks for Pitt heading into the season. He's only attempted a little over 100 passes over three years with USC before transferring to the Panthers. He is the team's unquestioned starter at this point but until we see him working with the offense in actual games, his effectiveness will remain a mystery. But on a watch list with so many quarterbacks (47) and the class specification of needing to be a four-year player, it makes sense that he would be added to the list.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Brian O'Neill, Quadree Henderson named to All-ACC preseason team

Brian O'Neill and Quadree Henderson have both gotten their share of preseason recognition through various award watch lists. They added another honor this week with the news that both made the All-ACC preseason team.

The team was voted on by the media attending the Media Days last week.

As a consensus All-American last year, Henderson was a no-brainer. And by the amount of recognition that O'Neill is racking up while going into the season starting for his third consecutive year, it's no surprise seeing him there as well.

Others, such as Jester Weah, Jordan Whitehead, Ryan Winslow, and Alex Officer all got more than ten votes. Alex Bookser and Avonte Maddox recorded a few votes, and fullback George Aston even got a vote at running back largely on (I'm guessing) the strength of his impressive ten touchdowns last year.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Former Pitt running back James Conner leads all NFL rookies in jersey sales

Former Pitt running back James Conner was selected in the NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this year. A wave of Pitt fans vowed to buy his jersey when it was released and, well, that seems to be happening. So far, Conner leads all rookies in jersey sales across the league. Not only that but Conner's jersey is close to tops in the NFL.

Steelers running back James Conner was the 105th player chosen in this year's NFL draft. But he's first in jersey sales. According to data released by Dick's Sporting Goods, Conner's jersey is the No. 1 best seller among NFL rookies this year. Among all NFL players, only Dak Prescott and Tom Brady have sold more jerseys this year.

Now, obviously established veterans that have had their jerseys available for years will be at a disadvantage when it comes to that second part. After all, if you've already got a Tom Brady jersey, chances of you buying another one this year are slim. But the fact that he's beating out practically everyone else in the league, including all of the newcomers is mindblowing.

Sales were expected to be pretty high. With him going from Pitt to the Steelers, a team that many Pitt fans also embrace, it's not a huge surprise that the sales are doing well. Conner's story of beating cancer, too, was an inspirational one that reached the entire nation. It was all sort of the perfect storm for selling a jersey. But ranking so high on the list is really impressive even despite that when you consider he wasn't a very high pick and is still outperforming all of the first-round guys, who typically sell a lot.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Sports Illustrated joins CBS Sports in ranking Pitt basketball last in the ACC

You can probably expect to see a few more of these.

Recently, CBS Sports ranked Pitt's basketball team last in the ACC in their preseason rankings. They're not alone in that sentiment as Sports Illustrated says the same, slotting the Panthers dead last in the conference:

The cupboard is quite barren in terms of proven talent for Pitt, which loses its top five scorers (all starters) from a team that went 4-€”14 in league play. Senior Ryan Luther (5.7 ppg) is the top returning scorer and only returning Panther who averaged more than 10 minutes per game.

The only team that will probably give Pitt a run for its money in these sorts of early-season rankings at this point is Boston College. Even that is probably based more on a historical thing than actually looking at the rosters for this season. That's not to say that Pitt can't avoid finishing last in the ACC. But the Eagles return several key players, including their top three scorers.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt receiver Jester Weah named to Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list

On Tuesday, Pitt wide receiver Jester Weah was named to the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award. The award recognizes the nation's top receiver.

Last season, Weah led the ACC in yardage per catch (24.2), which was also good for second in the entire nation. On the year, he had 36 catches for 870 yards and ten touchdowns. That was a pretty strong season for a guy who hadn't previously caught a pass.

Despite the late start to his career, Weah will have a chance for a big season and to get onto the radar of NFL scouts. 36 catches isn't much but he's a guy that can stretch the field and, as he proved last year, make some absolutely huge plays in the passing game.

I'm not sure he can win an award like this without a lot more volume in terms of pure catches but to even see him on this list is an accomplishment given where he was just two years ago.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Brian O'Neill named to Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

Pitt offensive tackle Brian O'Neill was previously named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy. On Tuesday, he added another preseason honor under his belt as he was named to the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy.

The Wuerffel Trophy honors a college football player that excels in community service.

O'Neill's efforts to date have included a Haiti mission trip and fundraising for Haiti, visiting the Mel Blount Youth Home, and volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, and Christmas at Pitt programs.

The award is named after former Florida Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt senior Ryan Luther one of 11 ACC players named to NABC Honors Court

Pitt senior Ryan Luther was one of 11 ACC basketball players to be named to the NABC's (National Association of Basketball Coaches) Honors Court. The distinction honors basketball players for their academic performances.

The Panthers technically had two honorees as departed transfer Cam Johnson was also on the list. Since it was for the previous academic year, he counts as a Pitt selection.

Here is the full list of those honored:

NABC Honors Court Selections from the ACCSchool -Total (Student-Athletes)Wake Forest - 3 (Britton Anderson, Troy Rike, Trent VanHorn)Pitt - 2 (Ryan LutherCameron Johnson)Louisville - 2 (David Levitch, Quentin Snider)Miami [Fla.] - 2 (Davon Reed, Chris Stowell)North Carolina - 1 (Aaron Rohlman)Florida State - 1 (Brandon Allen)

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt women's basketball team to play international exhibitions in Italy this August

Today, Pitt announced that they will play some international games in August as part of a tour to Italy. As in, this August. I'm not sure how these things are usually scheduled but it seems like a fairly late announcement with the trip taking place in less than three weeks.

The Lady Panthers will play three games during the trip from August 6-16.

Even though the trip is to Italy, they will only play one Italian team. The other two are from Germany and Holland. The first game will be against TK Hanover (Germany) on the 8th. A game against All-Star Italy is next on the 11th. Wrapping things up will be a game against Holland's FSG Academy on the 15th.

The official Pitt site has full details of the trip.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Michael Vick criticizes Colin Kaepernick’s hair: ‘Try to be presentable’

Michael Vick released a statement on Twitter defending his comments on Colin Kaepernick.

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In an appearance on FS1's "Speak for Yourself" on Monday, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback said if Kaepernick wants to repair his image from last season’s national anthem protests, he should cut his hair.

Vick’s statement on Twitter addressed the criticism aimed at his comments and said he did not intend to be malicious. 

"Colin Kaepernick's hair has nothing to do with him not being on a NFL roster right now,” Vick wrote. “Let's be clear! I wish only the best for Colin. I stand by what I've said about him being signed at some point this season to help a NFL club. I think he is a great kid who has a bright future and I'm looking forward to seeing him on the field again. Trust and believe what I said was not in malice."

On “Speak for Yourself,” Vick said Kaepernick needs to look “presentable” if he wants to get a job off the field, which incited fans to attack Vick’s comments on Twitter.

“First thing we gotta get Colin to do is cut his hair. I’m not up here to try to be politically correct but, even if he puts cornrows in it, I don’t think he should represent himself, in that way, in terms of hair style. Just go clean-cut. What he needs to do is just try to be presentable,” Vick said. “I just think perception and image is everything. This is not the Colin Kaepernick that we’ve known since he entered the National Football League. I’m just going off my personal experiences. Listen, I love the guy to death. But I want him to also succeed on and off the field. This has to be a start for him.”

Vick said his opinions come from being able to relate to being judged by physical appearance.

Kaepernick was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 and was signed with the team until March. He is a free agent and hasn’t been signed by another team.

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Quadree Henderson, Jordan Whitehead up for Paul Hornung Award

Both Quadree Henderson and Jordan Whitehead found themselves on more preseason college football award watch lists on Monday. The pair was named to the list for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the most versatile player.

There's good reason to include both on the list, obviously. Whitehead was a two-way player for the Panthers that made plays on both offense and defense. He racked up 65 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown as a safety while carrying the ball nine times for 98 yards.

Henderson didn't play defense but made his mark as a wide receiver, running back, and a return man. He had four special teams touchdowns, had 60 carries for 631 yards, and also caught 26 passes for 286 yards. In addition to his four special teams scores, he had six combined rushing and receiving touchdowns.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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