PITTSBURGH (AP) -In his last two starts for Pitt, Pat Bostick defeated Notre Dame on the road and then-No. 2 West Virginia, also on the road. Few other quarterbacks in school history own such a resume.
Despite his big-game success, Bostick may be fortunate to leave the Panthers' training camp as their No. 2 quarterback.
No. 1? Apparently, not a chance.
With redshirt freshman Tino Sunseri pressing holdover Bill Stull for the starting job a week into camp, Bostick again appears to be slipping into the background at Pitt.
It would seem to be an ill-suited role for the most accomplished quarterback that coach Dave Wannstedt has recruited in his nearly five years at Pitt. Yet Bostick has never seemed to give the Panthers exactly what they want, even if he has been on the field for some of their best victories of recent seasons.
coaches and players. Hopefully, I'll be able to help this team win a lot of games over these next two years.''
He must get on the field to do that and, despite being ranked as one of the nation's best 25 high school quarterbacks as a senior, Bostick has played only when the Panthers have had no other options.
After Bostick threw for 7,259 yards during his career at Manheim Township High near Lancaster, his college career got off to a bad start when he went home for personal reasons on the first day of camp as a freshman. He returned before the season began, but his absence was never fully explained.
Despite minimal time in camp, Bostick unexpectedly found himself starting when Stull was lost for the season with a thumb injury during the 2007 opener. Bostick's statistics were predictable for a player filling a role he wasn't quite ready for - 155 of 252 for 1,500 yards, eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions - yet he had a big game against South Florida (298 yards), beat Cincinnati a year before the Bearcats won the Big East title and led Pitt's biggest upset in school history at West Virginia.
``He was thrown into action way before he was ready and we were ready, but we had no choice,'' Wannstedt said.
s the week before.
No matter, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Bostick kept hearing the Panthers won in spite of his three interceptions, not because he constantly helped get them in scoring position.
If it's not Bostick's interceptions, it's his supposed poor footwork. Or the hitch in his delivery. Or his release point. Or his arm strength. Or his toughness. Or his career statistics to date: 177 of 293, 1,770 yards, 9 touchdowns, 17 interceptions.
``I think Pat has worked on his foot quickness. I think he's worked on his arm strength. They would be the two key things. There's not a player on our team who's more committed, understands the offense, what to do with the football more than Pat Bostick does,'' Wannstedt said. ``It's those physical skills that he's been working extremely hard at.''
However, Pitt keeps flashing every signal that Bostick won't be its guy. If the Panthers envisioned him as their starting quarterback for multiple seasons, they probably would have redshirted him rather than let him burn up a season of eligibility by playing in two games last year.
Bostick, 20, was recruited by a number of schools, yet halfway through his college career, he expresses no regret for choosing Pitt. Or for staying there.
``I want to be part of a championship football team. I want to wear that ring, and I'd like to be a big reason we get it,'' Bostick said. ``If I'm not, I'll still root very hard for my teammates, and 10 years later I'll be able to say that we were pretty darn good. And I'll be so glad that I was part of it.''

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