Though Brent Venables is known around the country for his skill as a defensive coordinator it has always been at linebacker where people have most associated vendors. One of the players that is hoping he’ll someday be on Venables’ lengthy list of success stories is Monday night commitment Phil Picciotti. With his decision behind him it’s to take a look at the film of the Perkasie (Pa.) Pennridge Upper Sr. product and see what has Venables and co. so excited
SoonerScoop.com Recruiting Editor Josh McCuistion: In most tape you may spend a few snaps getting a feel for where a player is on the field and from snap to snap it can be tricky to find where he is. Picciotti has a highlight reel that takes out any of those concerns.
Either find the big guy carrying the ball and getting downfield as quickly as possible or find where a blocker is moving in the wrong direction, often airborne, and you’ll find the Sooners latest linebacker commitment.
It wouldn’t be oversimplification to simply say that Picciotti is a man of action on the field.
What may stick out the most on Picciotti’s tape is how decisive he is. When he reads the play he triggers quickly and attacks downhill violently. And along with that aggression comes an explosive playmaking ability that allows him to create tackles for loss and often poor ball handling.
As a runner he shows off some of his long speed and overall athleticism but even as a runner, you can see Picciotti’s overall football…personality coming out. He wants to attack, he wants to create contact and he wants to simply impose his will on his opponents.
There will be some who feel Picciotti is too downhill and maybe doesn’t have elite lateral movement but as an inside backer the athletic upside seems more than there to succeed in a role similar to other linebackers of years gone by at both Clemson and Oklahoma.
He’s the guy who could be a good embodiment of Venables and the Oklahoma defensive ideals while roaming the middle of the field. And as he gets bigger and stronger he figures to only become more dominant in the run game.
Fundamentally, on both sides of the ball Picciotti does a nice job playing behind his pads and at linebacker really is skilled at scraping and staying square to the line of scrimmage.
What will ultimately decide just how big his impact is will be Picciotti continuing to develop with his change of direction and learning more of his pass drops – something he’s just rarely asked to do on the available tape.
Player Comparison: Picciotti is one of those guys that maybe doesn’t have the most obvious comparison but one I do like is former Sooner inside linebacker Tay Evans.