PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – The Pitt football team held a vote Tuesday night and named three captains for the 2014 season. Senior tackle T.J. Clemmings on offense, safety Ray Vinopal, a senior from Youngstown on defense and junior Nicholas Grigsby on special teams.
“We had 19 guys get votes,” according to head coach Paul Chryst. “So I think there are a lot of guys in that room that guys respect.”
Grigsby made a name for himself on special teams last year.
“Kind of the whole way he’s approached it,” Chryst said. “He’s that standard we all want to get to.”
Chryst praised Grigsby’s body of work and that he championed the special teams last year.
Clemmings is in the second full year of a position change from defensive line to offensive tackle.
“(Defensive Graduate Assistant and former Pitt player) Hank Poteat spoke to our team about his successful journey at Pitt and one of the things he talked about was being selfless,” Chryst said. “There is no better example than T.J. He’s one of our better players right now.”
Vinopal was an honorable mention All-ACC selection last year in his second full season at Pitt following a transfer from Michigan. The senior made a name for himself with two interceptions and a forced fumble in a win over Notre Dame. Vinopal was also an ACC All-Academic Football Team honoree in 2013.
“It’s the way they work, day-in and day-out,” Chryst said of his captains. “How they handle their business, on and off the field. I thought the team made a great choice.”
Meanwhile, Redshirt sophomore defensive back Trenton Coles is leaving the program.
Paul Chryst saying after practice Wednesday, “I’ve appreciated what he’s done and he wants a fresh start. We are going to do everything we can to help him get to a good place.”
The Clairton grad was listed as a back-up on the pre-season depth chart and was challenged by transfer Reggie Mitchell and freshman Avonte Maddox.