While their disappointing 3-9 record this past season didn’t help, the Pitt Panther football program knew that they were going to deal with players transferring following the season.
In the new era of the transfer portal, EVERY TEAM in the country is going to have to deal with this, so this isn’t a Pitt problem.
It’s just the way it’s going to be now as ‘free agency’ has hit college football.
While the NCAA Transfer Portal doesn’t officially open until Monday, players are permitted to announce their intentions early and a number of Pitt players did just that. In fact, nine from Pitt’s 2023 roster announced this past week that they were leaving and looking for a new opportunity elsewhere.
Here’s a recap of the Panthers that will be in the transfer portal.
Addison Copeland — redshirt freshman wide receiver
Copeland never made an appearance in his two seasons with the Panthers. He came in as a member of the Class of 2022 as a three-star wide out. 247Sports rated him as No. 8 recruit in New York and No. 150 wide receiver in his Class, while Rivals had him as the No. 5 recruit in New York.
Since he redshirted his first season, he will arrive at his new school as a redshirt sophomore with three years left of eligibility.
Trey Anderson — redshirt sophomore offensive lineman
Andersen played for Lehi High School in Mountain Eagle, Utah and originally signed on as a member of the Class of 2019 as a tight end. Andersen is a Mormon and chose to spend the 2019 and 2020 seasons on a mission trip.
He would reclassify as a member of the Class of 2021. He redshirted during the 2021 season, played nine games in 2022 and then all 12 games this past season. He served on special teams, working on point after touchdowns and field goals, while also playing as a reserve offensive lineman when needed.
Byron Floyd — junior long-snapper
Floyd, a fourth-year junior from Mentor, Ohio, has served as the Pitt long snapper in each of the last two seasons — providing a steady level of success. Floyd arrived in Pittsburgh as a walk-on in the class of 2020, and he did not play much in 2020 or 2021 as he sat behind All-American Cal Adomitis, but he’s each of the last 25 games over the last two seasons for Pitt.
He served as a dependable member of the special teams unit, earning Pro Football Focus mid-season All-American honors this season.
Brandon George — sixth-year linebacker
George, who has one season of eligibility remaining in his college career, announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal on Monday — the first Panther of the offseason.
It was a tough loss for Pitt, losing a key reserve linebacker, especially at the Mike spot, but he did fall behind in the linebacker pecking order as young linebackers emerged around him in 2023.
In a backup role for Pitt last season, playing in all 12 games but not starting, he racked up 49 tackles (24 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one interception in 296 defensive snaps — grading out as one of the better Pitt defenders.
George played in 51 games over his five seasons at Pitt, playing in every game between 2020 and 2023, aside from the games missed to injury in 2022, and he finished his Pitt career with 112 tackles (60 solo), 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception and two pass breakups.
Buddy Mack — super-year safety
Mack will also have one season of eligibility remaining in his college career, and unlike George, he hasn’t been able to carve out any sort of role in the Panthers’ defense over the last few seasons.
He only played in four games in 2023, serving mainly as a special teamer, and it came after playing in 22 games in 2021 and 2022 — largely in that same special teams role. He racked up 11 tackles in his Pitt career, all of which came in 2021, and he switched between linebacker and safety during his time in Pittsburgh.
Mack will look to earn more playing time outside of Pittsburgh at his next location.
Aydin Henningham — redshirt senior linebacker
Henningham arrived at Pitt as a highly touted recruit in the class of 2020, but like Mack, he was unable to really find a true position during his time in Pittsburgh.
He played in six games as a true freshman in 2020, redshirted in 2021 and missed all of the 2022 season with an injury. He returned in 2023 but did not see the field defensively in a linebacking corps that saw a number of youthful ‘backers emerge around him.
In his four seasons at Pitt, Henningham did not record any stats.
Bangally Kamara — super-senior linebacker
Kamara started at Star and Money linebacker for Pitt over the last two seasons, seemingly on the verge of a true breakout campaign in each of the last two seasons, and he served as a key cog in the defense over that span.
Kamara arrived at Pitt as a highly touted recruit out of Akron, Oh. in the class of 2020. He did not walk on Senior Night earlier this month, which seemingly paved the way for a return next season, but he will use his two seasons of eligibility elsewhere.
It’s a tough loss for Pitt, considering the fact that Kamara has played 1,144 defensive snaps over the last two seasons and recorded 104 tackles (48 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception, eight pass breakups and a fumble recovery over the last two seasons.
But despite all of Kamara’s talent, able to effectively play both outside linebacker spots, he never truly developed into the kind of difference-maker that many thought he was going to be over the season — winning the Ed Conway Award for most improved player in the spring in 2022.
Deandre Jules — sixth-year defensive tackle
Jules was the breakout star of the defense during summer camp prior to the season, and after a handful of seasons in the system in a depth role, he finally emerged in 2023 as a starting defensive tackle. It’s a tough blow for Pitt to lose a player who waited five seasons to make his mark as a Panther.
With Pitt losing David Green, Devin Danielson and Tyler Bentley next season, Jules — who did not walk on Senior Night — was expected to potentially be a veteran leader on next season’s defensive line. Now he will use his final season of eligibility elsewhere.
Jules entered the 2023 season with just a couple hundred snaps under his belt after four years in the system, but he emerged this season as a key cog on the defensive line.
He played 474 defensive snaps this season, serving as a starter on the defensive tackle more often than not, and he recorded 24 tackles (13 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. He was a key run-stuffer on the defensive line, too.
Nate Temple — sixth-year defensive end
Temple is another defensive lineman who finally started games in 2023, often lining up opposite Dayon Hayes on the edge, but he will finish his college career outside of Pittsburgh.
He arrived in the class of 2019, redshirting in 2019 before playing sparingly over the next three seasons.
He recorded 26 tackles (8 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks hits in 2023, playing 356 defensive snaps, as he served as one of Charlie Partridge’s favorite ends.
Temple suited up for Pitt 26 times in his career, recording 31 tackles (11 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a pass breakup.
To track all of the players in college football who have entered the portal, use our brand new College Football Transfer Portal Database.