Trick shots are a treat for Pitt QB Peterman |

Trick shots are a treat for Pitt QB Peterman

Jerry DiPaola
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt quarterback Nate Peterman throws Friday, July 8, 2016 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

The day Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman jumped in the Ohio River, he was so excited he forgot to take off his socks.

You can see that stunning stunt, plus many others, in Peterman’s trick shot video proposed, planned and put together this spring by Pitt videographers Nazari Megatron, Greg Daniels, Patrick O’Shea and John Lintner.

The 3-minute, 14-second video with more than 19,000 YouTube views showcases Peterman’s accuracy in a variety of contrived situations, none of which (he readily admits) involve a pass rush. He throws a football from atop a video tower overlooking the Pitt practice fields into a basketball hoop, off South Side’s Hot Metal Bridge into a garbage can and through the gushing water of the Point State Park fountain into a can by the river.

That’s when he celebrated by taking off his shirt and jumping — cannonball-style — into the water.

“All his idea,” Megatron said. “I just made sure he took the mic off before he jumped in.”

Peterman focused on that shot more than others because there were several people sitting around the fountain, watching him.

“I (said), ‘I can’t make a fool of myself here,’ ” he said.

One of the trickiest shots was Peterman knocking a water bottle off the head — William Tell-like — of 6-foot-6 offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty in an ultimate test of trust.

“One time he flinched, or I would have hit it straight-on, so we had to do it another time,” Peterman said. “After that, he trusted me.”

Just like Peterman needs to trust Bisnowaty and others on the offensive line to keep him upright long enough to put that accuracy — he was second in the ACC last season with a 61.5 completion percentage — to good use.

“I try to be (accurate),” he said. “That’s what makes a great quarterback, obviously decision-making, but accuracy, too. I try to showcase that (in the video), but it’s definitely different when you have six guys rushing at you at the same time.

“It was a fun thing to do, but I’m still focused on the season and improving my football skills as well.”

Peterman said some of the shots took repeated efforts to achieve.

“I’d be very dishonest if I said all of them were on the first try,” he said.

But he said no trick photography was used.

Peterman also worked his wife, Morgan, a former high school soccer player, into the video. Morgan kicks a soccer ball behind her back and Peterman shoots it out of the air. In another, the couple stand on a catwalk above the indoor practice facility, and Peterman wraps his arms around his wife and flips the ball into a can below.

The couple were married April 30 in Morgan’s hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn., making Peterman the first married Pitt quarterback in at least the past half-century. In fact, legendary coach Jock Sutherland (1924-1938) used to frown upon his players getting married, Pitt historian Alex Kramer said.

Peterman, who earned his undergraduate communications degree from Tennessee in three years, credits time management skills and his vigilant wife for allowing him to juggle marriage, football and academics. Attendance at three-hour night classes will enable him to earn an MBA from Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business in December.

“I want it to be all about football sometimes,” said Peterman, a 22-year-old senior. “But Morgan helps remind me I need balance in my life, too.”

Morgan Peterman works for the Pirates as a supervisor of ballpark operations.

Coach Pat Narduzzi said Peterman’s focus never strays far from the football field.

“He’s so locked and focused on what he’s supposed to do,” the coach said. “The guy is always watching tape.”

Peterman was playing well last season during and after Pitt’s 6-1 start, throwing only one interception in an eight-game stretch. But in season-ending losses to Miami and Navy, he threw a total of four.

He said his offseason training has been focused on finishing strong. He said he gained 7 pounds to 225 and recently did 17 bench presses of 225 pounds, a feat that would impress NFL scouts if he repeats it at next year’s combine.

“For me, (the streak of interceptions) serves as a great source of motivation to come out stronger and to finish the season (properly),” he said.

He said the goal is the same as it always has been — an ACC championship — and he realizes his role in achieving that.

“If you see all the great teams in the past, they all have great quarterbacks,” he said. “That’s what I want to be for this team.”

Note: Peterman and senior defensive end Ejuan Price will represent Pitt on July 21-22 at ACC Media Days in Charlotte, N.C.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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