Panthers offer sleeper Florida lineman

The Panthers have offered a number of quality prospects from the state of Florida. It appears one of those offers has gone to a rugged prospect from Everglades High School in Miramar, FL. Read on for details.

"I have scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Middle Tennessee, Central Florida and Mephis," stated rugged Joel McCleod (6-foot-3 inches, 295 pounds).

"My top five schools right now would be Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Iowa and Pittsburgh. Right now the Panthers are the only team in my top five to have offered me a scholarship. I'm being recruited by Coach (Charlie) Partridge. He's a great guy."

McCleod has been a three-year starter on both sides of the ball. He primarily played defensive tackle as a freshman. Joel played offensive guard and defensive tackle his sophomore and junior years. Pitt has extended a scholarship offer to his teammate Uriah Grant.

When asked about his strengths, he stated, "I have great feet, I'm very strong and I have a mean streak on the football field. People have told me I'm a different person on the field. I play with a lot of nasty."

McCleod is well aware that Pitt wants to run the football early and often. He indicated that the Panthers' offensive scheme plays to his strengths. "I like to run block. It's easy and fun. You go out and smack someone," he said. "I would like to play for a team that mostly runs the ball. I'm not saying I can't pass block, but it's something I need to work on and improve."

Joel is capable of bench pressing 365 pounds and squatting 630 pounds. He can run the forty-yard dash in 5.2 seconds. McCleod was named Honorable Mention All-County as a junior.

"Most schools like me at guard. I probably could play center if they really needed me to. More schools are starting to approach my coach about playing nose tackle. The Panthers like me at guard. I hope to get up there and visit early in the season."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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