Justin K. Aller, Getty Images
Mike Shanahan, receiver
Justin K. Aller, Getty Images

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound junior is a big target for quarterback Tino Senseri. He ranks second on the team in receptions with 22 for 254 yards and a touchdown. Last year he caught 43 passes for 589 yards and a touchdown. And, no, he is not related to the Washington Redskins coach with the same name.

Max Gruder, linebacker
Associated Press

The 230-pound senior leads the team with 51 tackles, ranking him second in the Big East. He also has a couple of pass breakups and quarterback hurries. Last year, Gruder was second on the team with 84 tackles and led the team as a sophomore with 91 tackles.

Brandon Lindsey, defensive end
Associated Press

The 250-pound senior leads the Panthers' pass rush with four sacks, which ranks him fourth in the Big East and 37th nationally. He is one of only eight NCAA players returning from last year who had at least 10 sacks in 2010. Last year, Lindsey was seventh on the team in tackles and had 17.5 tackles for loss.

Tino Sunseri, quarterback
Associated Press

The junior who played his high school ball in Pittsburgh, is in his second year as a starter and has passed for 1,166 yards on 118 of 187 completions. However, he has more interceptions (7) than touchdown passes (5), including three picks last week against Rutgers. He is the team's third leading rusher with 108 yards, but has rushed for 261 positive yards when you don't count quarterback sacks.

Ray Graham, running back
Associated Press

With 899 yards already this year, Graham has the most yards ever by a Pitt back through six games, even better than Tony Dorsett in his Heisman Trophy-winning season. Graham ranks second in the country behind Oregon's LaMichael James in rushing with a 149.8-yard average per game. He also ranks seventh nationally in all-purpose yards with 187.3 per game. He ran for a season-best 226 yards in a win over nationally-ranked South Florida two weeks ago and ran for 277 yards against FIU last year.