Chad Voytik will be Pitt's starting quarterback in 2014, head coach Paul Chryst announced Thursday afternoon.
"It feels good," Voytik said after the announcement was made. "It's a long time since I've been here, and it feels good. I've been getting the [first-team] reps, but just to be named, it's an honor, and I'm so excited to play in nine days."
The main competition for Voytik, a redshirt sophomore, came from redshirt junior Trey Anderson. But Voytik took the bulk of the first-team reps as he worked to become more comfortable in head coach Paul Chryst's offense.
"I think my timing," Voytik said when asked where he has improved the most in training camp. "I mean, that comes with learning the offense, but everything seems to be on time. I can keep getting better, but my rhythm and knowing when to escape, I think that's really what I've improved on. Now I can be a pocket-passer and get out of the pocket when I need to."
Voytik will make his first career start on Saturday, Aug. 30, when the Panthers host Delaware at Heinz Field for a noon kickoff. He appeared in four games last season, but his most significant game action came when Pitt faced Bowling Green in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl in Detroit. That night, he replaced Tom Savage at halftime and completed 5-of-9 passes for 108 yards and rushed twice for 24 yards, including a five-yard touchdown run.
Now he's the full-time replacement for Savage, who threw for 2,958 yards and 21 touchdowns during one years as Pitt's quarterback. Voytik does not have Savage's arm strength, but he is more mobile and presents a greater threat on roll-outs, bootlegs and quarterback runs, of both the designed and the scrambling varieties.
A native of Cleveland, Tenn., Voytik was a four-star prospect who was ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the state of Tennessee for the class of 2012. He was also rated the No. 4 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com and put in a standout performance at the Elite 11 in 2012. Voytik was also the starting quarterback in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
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