When you’re a coach who wants to be physical and establish the run game, it’s important to get big, road-grating offensive lineman to run behind.
Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Paul Chryst had just that during his successful seven-year stint as the offensive coordinator for the Wisconsin Badgers. In his short time in Pittsburgh, he has made a concerted effort to try to replicate that success, primarily through recruiting. Today, the Panthers got a commitment that could go a long way to help achieve that goal.
Four-star offensive tackle Mike Grimm out of Bethal Park, Pennsylvania gave the Panthers a verbal commitment today, their first high profile recruit for the class of 2014.
Grimm is a monster at 6-foot-6 320 pounds, and is the type of lineman Chryst loves. His commitment comes a day after Pittsburgh landed a quarterback (Adam Bertke) and a running back (Dennis Briggs) for 2014. Grimm had offers from several other schools including Wisconsin, Boston College, Arizona and Virginia.
As a player, Grimm is a little bit raw, but will have time to develop. At this point, he’s probably a slightly better run blocker than he is a pass blocker, but he’s above average at both. In the run game, he has shown an ability to maul defenders at the high school level, using his size to simply overpower smaller players. He hasn’t displayed the explosiveness necessary to get movement on down lineman in at the collegiate level, but that will improve with strength, conditioning, and technique work. He will likely end up at right tackle when all is said and done.
Pittsburgh has really turned up the heat in the recruiting department, and Grimm could be the bell cow for this class.
B.L. is a college football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip.