Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Sometimes, college football just isn't fair. Just ask Pitt defensive end Greg Romeus .
Romeus collected eight sacks and 11.5 tackles-for-loss in 2009 on his way to being named Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year, and could have been a high draft pick had he decided to leave after his junior season. Instead he returned to help the Panthers try and win Dave Wannstedt 's first Big East title, and while Pitt might manage that anyway, it won't be for Romeus's expolits on the field; he suffered a back injury in the Panthers's season-opening loss to Utah , missed seven games, returned for last Thursday's matchup against UConn ... and promptly suffered a knee injury that Pitt announced today was a torn anterior cruciate ligament .
The injury will end Romeus's season after just those two appearances without either a sack or tackle-for-loss. If there's any silver lining* to what has to be a crushing disappointment for both Romeus and Pitt, it's that it's possible that after missing so much time in 2010, the NCAA could grant him a medical waiver and a sixth year of eligibilty. (Romeus redshirted as a freshman.) It's premature to say he's played his last game in a Pitt uniform.
Then again, Romeus may want to capitalize on whatever lingering good will he has with NFL scouts while he can. Either way, it's hard to pick out any top-level draft prospect who's suffered a more difficult season than Romeus.
*OK, there's one more silver lining at least for Pitt: in Jabaal Sheard and Brandon Lindsey , they have a pair of defensive ends with 27 combined sacks over the past two seasons. Few positions on few teams in the country were as loaded as the Panthers were at DE entering this season.