PITTSBURGH – Pitt landed eight selections on the 2019 all-Atlantic Coast Conference football team and three honorable mention recognitions. The eight all-ACC picks are Pitt’s most since 2015.
The Panthers’ first-team selections are junior center Jimmy Morrissey, sophomore defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman and sophomore safety Paris Ford. The three first-team honorees are Pitt’s most since 2016 and are tied for the second most among ACC schools this season.
Earning second-team honors were junior defensive end Patrick Jones II and senior cornerback Dane Jackson. Third-team recognition went to senior Maurice Ffrench, both as a wide receiver and in the all-purpose category, as well as junior offensive guard Bryce Hargrove.
Receiving honorable mention recognition are senior linebacker Kylan Johnson and senior defensive tackle Amir Watts. Ffrench also earned honorable mention as a specialist.
The official all-ACC team is voted on by conference head coaches, a representative from each of the 14 schools’ radio broadcast teams and select media members who cover the league on a daily basis.
Morrissey was a vital figure in Pitt’s transition to a heavier pass attack by providing air-tight pass protection. He did not surrender a sack the entire season and also rated as the Panthers’ top run blocker.
The durable Morrissey has made 35 career starts since 2017.
Twyman has earned praise as the nation’s top interior pass rusher. He has compiled 10.5 sacks this season, the most by a Pitt defensive tackle since Aaron Donald had 11 during his 2013 All-America senior season.
Twyman ranks 14th nationally and second in the ACC with an average of 0.88 sacks per game.
Ford is the leading tackler on the Panthers’ nationally ranked defense with 86 stops. A highly active defender, he additionally paces Pitt with three interceptions and 14 total passes defended. Ford ranks 21st nationally in forced fumbles (0.25 per game; three total) and 28th in passes defended (1.2 per game).
Jones emerged as disruptive player off the edge in his first season as a starter. He leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in forced fumbles (0.33 per game; four total).
As a pass rusher, Jones has compiled 8.5 sacks and a team-high 18 quarterback hurries. He and Twyman share the team lead with 12 tackles for loss each.
Jackson is the top cover corner for a Pitt unit that ranks 14th nationally in pass efficiency defense (112.63 rating). He has an ACC-high 12 pass breakups (tied) while typically drawing the most challenging of opposing assignments.
Ffrench is one of the most prolific pass catchers in the country this season. He is averaging 8.4 receptions per contest, tops in the ACC and third nationally. Ffrench has 84 catches this season, the fourth-highest single-season total in Pitt history and only eight shy of Larry Fitzgerald’s school-record of 92 set in 2003.
Manning the left guard position, Hargrove was key in solidifying the interior of Pitt’s rebuilt offensive line. He gave up just a single sack the entire season and also ranks among the ACC’s best run-blocking guards.
Johnson, a graduate transfer from Florida, made an immediate impact on Pitt’s defense and started all 12 games at Money linebacker. He has 51 tackles, 10.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks on the year.
Watts is an important cog on Pitt’s interior defensive front and has 22 tackles, seven TFLs and two sacks.