NCAA Football

Pitt's No. 1 priority: Retiring Fitzgerald's jersey

07/02 8:38 AM

Pittsburgh will retire receiver Larry Fitzgerald's No. 1 jersey, the school announced Monday.

Pittsburgh will retire receiver Larry Fitzgerald's No. 1 jersey, the school announced Monday.

Athletic director Steve Pederson surprised Fitzgerald with the news while the two were in New York celebrating the school's move into the ACC with other league representatives.

Fitzgerald, who starred at Pitt during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, becomes the ninth Pitt player to have his jersey retired.

"Larry Fitzgerald is the greatest receiver in Pitt history and is well on his way to future Hall of Fame enshrinement in Canton," Pederson said in a statement. "In addition to his exceptional football talents, Larry has always been one of the University of Pittsburgh's finest representatives. As thrilling as he has been as a player, Larry has been even more inspiring off the field for his incredible commitment to philanthropic causes."

Fitzgerald, now a perennial Pro Bowl player with the Arizona Cardinals, was named the 2003 Walter Camp Player of the Year, becoming the first sophomore to earn that prestigious honor. He also won the Biletnikoff Award as the country's top receiver and was unanimously selected a first-team All-American. He finished second in the Heisman balloting that year.

Fitzgerald's 2003 season at Pitt was remarkable -- he registered 92 catches for 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns. He led the nation in receiving yards per game (128.62) and TD catches.

ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson contributed to this report.


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