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Pittsburgh's thin group of cornerbacks has taken another hit, as Trenton Coles has left the program and will seek a transfer, coach Paul Chryst said Wednesday.
"I appreciate what he done and he wants a fresh start and we are going to do everything we can to help him get to a good place," Chryst said.
The move further decimates what was an already depleted group of corners, as the Panthers are now down to one returning player with any experience at the position: redshirt junior Lafayette Pitts, who has played in all 26 games over the last two seasons, starting in 25.
Coles, a redshirt sophomore, was expected to start this season after playing in 11 games last year as a reserve corner and on special teams. He tallied nine tackles, forced one fumble and recovered another. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Coles was an ESPN three-star prospect out of Clairton (Pa.) High from the class of 2012.
Pitt lost another potential starting cornerback earlier this month when Coles' high school teammate, Titus Howard, was suspended for the 2014 season for an undisclosed reason. Howard can remain with the program and practice.
Redshirt sophomore Reggie Mitchell, a Wisconsin transfer, could be in line to start Pitt's Aug. 30 season opener against Delaware. True freshmen Avonte Maddox and Phillipie Motley likely will see bigger roles immediately as well. Both Maddox and Motley were ESPN three-star prospects from this past recruiting cycle.