Texas Tech gets a commitment from Mandeville, Louisiana linebacker Johnathan Picone, the first of two commits on Saturday and Kliff Kingsbury is starting to fill out that defensive side of the ball.
|HIGH SCHOOL: Mandeville (Mandeville, LA)
|OFFERS: Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Toledo, Troy, Tulane, Texas Tech, Western Kentucky
|CUMULATIVE RANKING: 0.8367
|PROFILE DATE: June 14, 2015
The Player Speaks: From Nola’s Amos Morale III said that it has been the constant attention from the Texas Tech coaches despite not having a ton of film at linebacker:
“Just the faith that the Texas Tech staff had in me, even though I had a lack of linebacker film, and that’s what I’m being recruited as,” Picone said when asked why he decided to give his verbal pledge to the Red Raiders.
“All of the attention and love they’ve been showing me and the persistence with recruiting… just really doing everything they possibly could to make Texas Tech feel like a home to me even though it’s 12 hours from where I live.”
Scouting Report: Picone mentions that he doesn’t have a ton of film at inside linebacker, but he does have plenty of film at a hands-down defensive end and even defensive tackle. Pretty crazy, but he’s actually pretty good at what he’s doing, making correct reads (it’s a highlight video, so you sorta expect that) and shedding blockers. Let’s go through the Bill Walsh evaluation of the inside linebackers:
Substantial Size: Lacks the size to play inside right now, but Picone’s willingness to play at the line, where he is obviously out-sized is a testament to the idea that even if he adds just a little weight, he’ll be just fine. I could see an additional 15 pounds pretty easy, which isn’t all that much over the course of a senior and redshirt seasons.
Instinct: We don’t get to see a ton of his ability to dissect a play, he’s just going. This is the part where Texas Tech coaches are trusting he has that instinct.
Ability to Read Play: Again, not a lot to pull here, although I love how he’s making a ton of plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Meet and Shed Blocker: This is, if I had to guess, is what sold the coaches on his ability to play inside. If he can shed blockers like he’s doing on the line, which I realize is different, he’s probably going to have a pretty good knack for it at inside linebacker. I don’t think that’s a huge reach.
Big Body: See above. not there just yet, but he’s going to have a plenty big enough body to play inside linebacker.
Make sure and check out Staking The Plains’ Recruiting Table for a map of where all the commits are located and links on every commit.