Pitt lands former USC quarterback Kedon Slovis

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Kedon Slovis

Southern California quarterback Kedon Slovis throws a pass during the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Utah on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kedon Slovis is trading USC for Pittsburgh.

The former Trojans quarterback announced Tuesday he is heading east to join the ACC champion Panthers, where he will get a chance to replace ACC Player of the Year Kenny Pickett.

“I’m feeling incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a Panther — and I can’t wait to prove myself again on this stage,” Slovis said in a piece he wrote for The Players Tribune released Tuesday evening.

Slovis entered his junior season at USC as a Heisman Trophy contender but he struggled to find any rhythm. He passed for 2,153 yards with 11 touchdowns against eight interceptions in nine games before being lost for the season with a leg injury.

Slovis joins a wide-open race to replace Pickett, who announced last week he will not play when the 13th-ranked Panthers (11-2) face No. 10 Michigan State (10-2) in the Peach Bowl next week. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi has not said who will start in place of Pickett, though Nick Patti figures to get the nod as the primary backup.

The Panthers also have Davis Beville and Arizona State transfer Joey Yellen, who joined Pitt in January 2020.

Pitt is in the process of looking for a new offensive coordinator after Mark Whipple left for the same position at Nebraska.

Whoever is at quarterback for the Panthers won’t lack for weapons, including Biletnikoff Award-winning wide receiver Jordan Addison, who caught 93 passes for 1,479 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Slovis figured not to be part of USC’s future plans after the Trojans lured Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma to replace Clay Helton as head coach.

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Slovis made the All-Pac 12 first-team in 2020 while throwing for 1,921 yards and 17 touchdowns with seven interceptions playing an abbreviated schedule thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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