Pitt to host Florida "tough guy"

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. Will he visit Pitt? Read on for details.

Pitt Assistant Coach Charlie Partridge (Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Ends) is known for his relentless style of recruiting. He has deeply entrenched relationships throughout the state of Florida. With five offensive line recruits already committed to the Panthers' class of 2007, it appears Coach Partridge may be responsible for adding the sixth.

Athletic lineman Joel McCleod (6-foot-3 ½ inches, 285 pounds) from Everglades High School in Miramar, FL contacted the PantherDigest.com over the weekend to report on his official visit to Pitt.

"I wanted to let you know that I'll be visiting Pittsburgh on September 16th," stated McLeod. "I'm in the process of getting everything completed but I'm really excited about it."

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 if Uriah Grant would join him on his official visit, he stated, "We talked about it on the phone the other day. I think he wants to visit with me. We have talked about going to the same school together."

"Pittsburgh is recruiting me for the offensive line. They like me at offensive guard. I can play defensive tackle as well. The team is the bottom line for me. I'll move wherever the coaching would want me to move to help the team."

McCleod has received scholarship offers from Pitt, Minnesota, Middle Tennessee, Central Florida and Memphis. He is capable of bench pressing 365 pounds and squatting 630 pounds. Joel can run the forty-yard dash in 5.2 seconds. McCleod was named Honorable Mention All-County as a junior.

"I'm big but I'm athletic for my size. I move well and people have told me I have great feet. You could say I'm a ‘tough guy' on the football field. I play with an attitude. You could call it a mean streak. Run blocking is my strength."

Joel didn't hesitate from proclaiming the Panthers as his favorite school. "Pittsburgh is at the very top of my list. I like them quite a bit," he said. "If I like what I see, I could commit during the visit. I'll have to talk with my mother too, but I could commit."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.


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