Linebacker Phil Picciotti kept a relatively low profile throughout the spring despite taking a number of unofficial visits in March and April. The four-star out of Perkasie (Pa.) Pennridge Upper took official visits to Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Auburn in June but settled on Oklahoma when decision time came the night of July 4th.
WHAT THE SOONERS ARE GETTING…
Picciotti may not put up overly impressive times during combine testing but he plays fast and physically. He does a good job seeing running lanes and makes sure tackles in the middle of the field and towards the sideline when he is in pursuit. Picciotti has good size at 6-foot-3, 225-pounds and seems to have the technique and strength to fight off offensive linemen looking to slow him down. He also shows off good instincts from his inside linebacker spot and is an effective blitzer up the middle.
WHY IT’S BIG FOR OKLAHOMA…
Brent Venables has made a living recruiting and developing linebackers like Picciotti and he’ll try to do the same thing at Oklahoma. Even though Kade McIntyre and Samuel Omosigho are listed as athletes, both could end up playing linebacker in Norman. Combining those two with Kaleb Spencer, Oklahoma looks to have three potential outside linebackers in this class. Picciotti is the first true inside linebacker but his actual role on the Sooner defense will be determined once he physically matures in the strength and conditioning program. Without a more recent evaluation of Picciotti since the end of last season, it will be interesting to see how he has developed once practices start up this fall.