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:
3. Place in program history.
4. Only the player's careers while at Pitt are considered, not their NFL careers.
5. No current players.
40. Rod Rutherford (1999-2003)- The former City League star did little in his first three seasons, redshirting in his first season then seeing little action in the following two seasons. The speedy Rutherford did make one huge play as a redshirt freshman, however, and that was the 62-yard touchdown pass that sealed the victory against integrity lacking Penn State 12-0. He also was the main kick returner and had a healthy 21.5 avg. As a sophomore he played some at quarterback and ran for 6 touchdowns.
As a junior, the lefty finally got the starting nod and just his luck, the Panthers also had a young freshman named Larry Fitzgerald. Rutherford found Fitzgerald early and often and ended up with 2,783 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 12 interception, while also running for 398 yards and running for 6 more touchdowns.
As a senior, the Rutherford and Fitzgerald combination became both the most lethal duo in the country, and the best passing duo in program history. Rutherford threw for a Pitt record 3,679 yards and 37 touchdowns, both Pitt records.
Rutherford went undrafted and spent two years on the practice squad, first with Carolina than Pittsburgh. With the Steelers he received a Super Bowl ring. After playing in various leagues outside of the NFL, he is currently the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for Indiana (PA).