However Brent Venables is known nationwide for his skills as a defensive coordinator, he’s always been at linebacker where people have most associated with Venables. One player who hopes to one day make it onto Venables’ long list of accomplishments is the Monday night commitment Phil Picciotti. With his decision behind him, take a look at the Perkasie (Pa.) Pennridge Upper Sr. product film and see what Venables and co. very exited.
SoonerScoop.com Recruitment Editor Josh McCuistion: In most tapes, you can spend a few snaps trying to get an idea of where a player is on the pitch, and from one snap to the next, it can be difficult to find where they are. Picciotti has a highlight reel that eliminates all of these concerns.
Either find the big guy who carries the ball and gets off as quickly as possible, or find where a blocker is moving in the wrong direction, often in the air, and you’ll find the Sooners linebacker’s final engagement.
It would not be reductive to simply say that Picciotti is a man of action on the pitch.
What stands out most about Picciotti’s tape is how decisive he is. When he reads the room, he fires up quickly and attacks hard on the downhill. And with that aggression comes an explosive playing ability that allows him to create tackles for loss and often mishandling the ball.
As a runner he shows some of his long speed and general athleticism, but even as a runner you can see Picciotti’s overall football personality… come out. He wants to attack, he wants to make contact and he just wants to impose his will on his opponents.
Some will think Picciotti is too downhill and may not have elite lateral movement, but as an inside support, the athletic advantage seems more than there to succeed in a role similar to other linebackers in the years spent in Clemson and Oklahoma.
He’s the guy who could be a good embodiment of Venables and Oklahoma’s defensive ideals while running through midfield. And as he grows and gets stronger, he thinks he’ll become more dominant in the running game.
Basically, on both sides of the ball, Picciotti does a good job playing behind his pads and the linebacker is really good at scratching and staying square on the line of scrimmage.
What will ultimately decide the extent of his impact will be Picciotti who will continue to develop with his change of direction and learn more about his passing drops – something he is rarely asked to do on the available swath.
Player comparison: Picciotti is one of those guys who might not have the most obvious comparison, but the one I like is the former inside linebacker for Sooner. Tay Evans.