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Pitt added some experienced depth to the tight end corps this week when Rutgers grad transfer Matt Flanagan committed to spending his final year of eligibility as a Panther.
SFlanagan attended Pitt’s scrimmage at Heinz Field on Saturday and announced his decision on Monday.
A 2013 graduate of Chester (NJ) West Morris Mendham, Flanagan joined the Rutgers program as a walk-on but earned a scholarship after playing in 33 games over the last three years. He caught 18 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns over that span, with the 2015 season being a high-water mark as he put up 110 yards and three scores on 11 receptions.
Flanagan was also a perennial Academic All-Big Ten honoree, earning a spot in each of the last three years. Last November, he announced his intentions to transfer and told NJ.com he made the decision for academic reasons.
“Being a biological sciences major," he said, "in order to pursue a doctorate degree - which is something I plan on doing - I need to get started on my thesis at the same university. In most scientific communities, it's accepted to start another research project at a different school and keep going through dissertation."
Flanagan, who was listed at 6'6" and 258 pounds on Rutgers' 2016 roster, brings experience to Pitt at a position where that is lacking. Prior to adding Flanagan, the Panthers were projected to have four scholarship tight ends on the 2017 roster: redshirt sophomore Chris Clark and incoming freshmen Tyler Sear, Charles Reeves and Grant Carrigan.
Aside from one game that Clark played for UCLA at the start of the 2015 season, none of those four has seen a snap of college football. Flanagan, with 17 starts and 33 games played over the last three years, adds a dose of on-field experience.