Friday, July 20, 2012

Counting down the top Pitt football players of the last 40 years- No.29 Scott McKillop

I will be counting down my own list of the top 50 Pitt football players since 1972.  I have spent time doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people when formulating this list, but ultimately it is MY opinion.  The great thing about lists like this is that people will disagree, and feel free to, but just remember that there is no right answer so there's no need to go crazy if you do disagree.  I will post this same intro with all 50 bios because I know the one time I don't, people will complain about not knowing what criteria I used.  I will add at least one a day, maybe two.  

My criteria for selecting the order is as follows:

1.  Productivity.
2.  Talent.
3.  Place in program history.
4.  Only the player's careers while at Pitt are considered, not their NFL careers. 
5.  No current players.

29.  Scott McKillop (2004-2008)-  It took awhile for the Kiski Area middle linebacker to make his mark at Pitt but once he did, he made it big.  McKillop was redshirted in his first year then had 27 tackles as a redshirt freshman and 29 tackles as a redshirt sophomore.  Both seasons he was the backup for star middle linebacker H.B. Blades.  

As a junior McKillop got his chance to start and he was fantastic with 151 tackles, which led the nation, and he received various All-American recognition.  He led the Panthers to the No. 5 defense in the nation that season.  McKillop also added 9 tackles for loss, an interception, 2 forced fumbles, and 8 passes defensed.  

As a senior, the tackles numbers were still a very high 137, but this time 17.5 were for losses.  He also added 6 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.  Once again he received some All-American recognition from various outlets.

For his career, McKillop has 344 total tackles, good for 10th all-time in school history, and he was taken by the San Francisco 49ers in the 5th round of the NFL draft.  Prior to his second season with the 49ers, he blew his knee out, then was released prior to the following season.  He's currently signed with the Buffalo Bills.


  1. He was a fantastic player and a hard worker who never gave up on the play. People say he wasn't the best athlete, but he was certainly the best worker.

  2. When this guy is your programs #29 best player, you've got issues.

  3. Imma Man! Im 40!July 20, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I'm REALLY enjoying this effort, Doke! It's been good to reminisce about players I saw while at Pitt in the late 70s / early 80s, plus to read about guys I missed while living overseas in the early 90s.

    But you having Scott McKillop ranked ahead of Darrell Revis must be a typo.... SK was a solid player, but puh-leeze!

    1. The top criteria I use is productivity. McKillop had an enormous amount of tackles in a two year span and made some All-American teams in both seasons he started.

      Revis left a year early and people started to throw away from him as a junior. The truth is, while Revis was always an excellent player at Pitt, nobody thought he was a great player until he went to the NFL. He didn't become a first round pick possibility until shortly before the draft. In fact, many Pitt fans at time couldn't understand why he was leaving early. Bottom line, while he was at Pitt nobody was saying, "wow, that Darrelle Revis is a superstar!!". He wasn't even an All-American.

    2. I tend to disagree. The ball was almost never thrown Darrelle's way his junior year. To me, that is the ultimate sign of respect. His lack of numbers are the reason he was not an all-american which is ridiculous. A lot of times these awards/lists are wonky. I was certain the Steelers were going to draft him before the Jets traded up ahead to pick him. I was very upset to say the least. People knew this kid could play. Plus, if absolutely no one is throwing your way means you are completely shutting down one of the oppositions top receivers. Talk about productivity. That's the ultimate productivity for a CB.

    3. By that reasoning no excellent cornerbacks would have big numbers and as we know that's not true. David Amerson of NC State was an All-American and is a projected 1st round pick next year, and he intercepted 13 passes last year.

    4. Most don't have gaudy eye-popping numbers. Let's look at Revis and the 2012 draft's top 4 corners taken and their interception totals last 2 years in college.

      -Revis (1st rd) 2/4 int
      -Claiborne (1st) 6/5
      -Gilmore (1st) 3/3
      -Kirkpatrick (1st) 3/0
      -Jenkins (2nd) 2/3

      As you can see, having a ton of interceptions doesn't define a great corner. They are important and an added bonus but not the truest indicator.

      Additionally, Revis was an excellent returner and his 2 picks were taken to the house in his jr year. (1 against West Virginia)
      Revis was a superstar at Pitt. It's too bad you failed to witness it.

    5. The fact that nobody made him an All-American and Pitt didn't even promote him for that, must mean I'm not the only who failed to see it. Maybe it's just because he wasn't a superstar then. Superstar now for sure but not then.

  4. McKillop had 2 monster seasons. I wish nothing but the best for him in Buffalo, except when they play you know who.

  5. chris, what would you say pitts chances are at kristopher smith? hes from georgia but other than vanderbilt his offer list would suggest pitt has a shot