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Pitt Panthers coach Paul Chryst names Tom Savage starting QB

To the surprise of basically no one, senior Tom Savage officially was named Pittsburgh's starting quarterback Wednesday.

"Tom is going to be our starting quarterback," Panthers coach Paul Chryst told reporters after practice Wednesday. "... It was a culmination of everything, and I think that right now he gives us the best chance for our team to win."

The well-traveled Savage beat out redshirt freshman Chad Voytik for the job.

Savage (6 feet 5, 230 pounds) was a consensus national top-15 quarterback prospect in the 2009 recruiting class, behind players such as Matt Barkley, Tajh Boyd, AJ McCarron, Zach Mettenberger, Garrett Gilbert and Tate Forcier. Savage, from Philadelphia, signed with Rutgers and was seen as a recruiting coup for then-Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano.

Savage, a prototypical dropback passer, started 10 games as a true freshman and had an up-and-down season, throwing for 2,211 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions but completing only 52.3 percent of his passes. Rutgers went 9-4 that season.

Savage began the 2010 season as the starter but lost his job early that fall to lightly regarded true freshman Chas Dodd. Savage finished with 521 passing yards and transferred to Arizona after the season. He sat out the 2011 season under NCAA rules, then left after Rich Rodriguez took over as Arizona's coach following that fall because he was ill-suited for Rodriguez's version of the spread.

Savage transferred to Pitt and again sat out as a transfer last season. Now a fifth-year senior, this is his final college go-round.

Savage has a strong arm, but decision-making and accuracy were big problems at Rutgers. He does have some solid weapons with the Panthers; senior Devin Street is one of the best wide receivers in the ACC, and sophomore J.P. Holtz and junior Manasseh Garner could be the best tight end duo in the league. But Pitt's running game is a concern, and Savage, who is not mobile, will be playing behind a line that has three new starters, including both tackles.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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