We’re less than two months away from the start of the 2013 college football season, and that means preview countdowns! In the past, we’ve limited these lists to just the top 25 players, but this season, we’re upping our game to 50. So just about every day until the season starts, there will be a new player profile up here as we count down to the top ACC player for 2013.
Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.
With Pitt’s quarterback, both top rushers and its top receiver from last season all gone, Street’s importance cannot be overstated. Because of right now, he is the Panthers offense. And with that responsibility comes an opportunity to dominate as no Pittsburgh player has since probably Larry Fitzgerald (you could also make a case for Jon Baldwin as well). Street’s not Fitzgerald though, and no one would even ask him to be. But just the same, Street has plenty of talent and a golden chance to prove he can be the focal point of this team’s attack this season. The question is whether or not he can take advantage of it.
Standing at 6’4″ and 190 pounds, Street’s a big target for whomever plays quarterback for Pitt, and should be one of the conference’s more dynamic threats on the outside of the field. This season, without Mike Shanahan playing opposite him, he’s bound to draw more double-coverage, but he’s also bound to be targeted more at the same time. But can he translate that to a) more catches and b) more team success? Last season, Street had two games in which he caught 10 or more passes (both times more than Shanahan), and each resulted in a loss. The big performances from Street obviously weren’t the main cause of these defeats — far from it — but this is to say that Street’s standout games don’t automatically mean wins. And therein lies the challenge for him, and this Pittsburgh team as a whole in 2013. How do they prevent him from feeling the need to do too much, while still becoming the force he has the talent to be?
Luckily, that’s a challenge for the Pitt coaching staff, and less of one for Street. For now, the senior receiver is excited for his season to start, and appears optimistic for both his and Pitt’s chances to succeed in the ACC. As he told the Pitt athletic department site last month:
“I am really excited just getting prepared for the ACC schedule. You go down the line and realize there are no easy games, every game is a challenge in itself and every game can be exciting. We just have to bring a level of electricity to that stadium at the games to get the fans into it. There is a lot more speed and athleticism in the ACC. For us to be successful we have to heighten our level of play. I am definitely excited. I see the fans are excited about the schedule and we are anxious to get after it.”
The jury’s still out on Pitt this fall, but one thing’s for sure: Street is the motor that will take this offense as far as he can go.