6’1″ 225 pounds; Hometown: Lower Burrell, Pa.
While Cam Bright made this list because of reputation last year and what he does outside of the stat column, John Petrishen made the list for the exact opposite reason. He’s on here specifically because of what he did in the stat column in the Pitt Panthers’ opener.
Last week, Pitt proved its pass rush is still there, as it had five sacks and six tackles for a loss in a 51-7 win over the UMASS Minutemen. Petrishen, a converted defensive back, was the star, as he came away with two sacks when nobody else had more than one sack or tackle for a loss. He also registered a team-leading six tackles, four of which were solo.
Simply put, Petrishen is the new breakout player who is thriving at linebacker. Tennessee football will have to consistently account for the Penn State Nittany Lions transfer, and given his experience as a coverage guy, he could make big plays in more ways than one.
Petrishen is in his seventh year of playing college ball, as he was with PSU from 2015 to 2018 and then joined Pitt in 2019. His experience is valuable, and this is his first year seeing significant experience at linebacker. Already, he has begun to prove himself there, and he could be dangerous for UT to deal with next week.