Pitt offers jumbo-athlete from Florida

University of Pittsburgh assistant coaches Aubrey Hill and Charlie Partridge have been scouring the state of Florida for talent. A new name has emerged from Northeastern High School in Oakland Park, FL. The PantherDigest.com was able to speak with this prospect about his future. Read on for details.

"I received an oral scholarship offer from the Panthers on Monday," stated jumbo-athlete Jim Maitland (6-foot-1 inches, 235 pounds) from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, FL. "I now have offers from Pittsburgh, North Carolina State and I have serious interest from Florida and Florida State."

Maitland originally attended Westminster Academy Christian School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He opted to transfer to Northeast High School his sophomore year. "I have primarily played fullback the last two years but I have had some playing time at linebacker and defensive line as well," stated Maitland.

Jim is capable of bench pressing 365 pounds, squatting 465 pounds and running the forty-yard dash in 4.7 seconds.

When asked about his strengths, he stated, "I have mostly played fullback. If you ask me to run through a wall, I'll run through the wall. I have lost count when it comes to pancake blocks I have had. My goal is to see Bo (Williams) break the big run. I can care less about stats. I'm blue-collar, physical and I give you everything I can."

The University of Pittsburgh considers Maitland a "jumbo-athlete". Despite his considerable abilities at fullback, the Panthers coaching staff believes Jim would make an outstanding linebacker.

Maitland, along with his teammates Bo Williams, Josh Hartigan and Darian Williams, will visit the Panthers on December 8th. "I can't wait to visit Pittsburgh and see what they have to offer," he said. "My grandfather played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and we still have family in that area."

"I have one or two schools in mind and Pittsburgh is one of my favorites. I like the offense that they run. I'm a physical kid and there's nothing more I love than lining up and knocking people on their ass. Pitt's one of the few schools attempting to establish a physical running game."

"Our county has some of the best talent in the country, so Jim goes head to head blocking some of the best linebackers out there," stated Northeast High School Adam Ratkevich. "I can assure you that Jim has decapitated all of them. I have yet to see a linebacker survive one of his blocks."

"Bo (Williams) was really happy that he received an offer. It's only oral right now but it's an offer," said Ratkevich. "I think the Panthers have an excellent chance to land several players from our school. I know that Coach Partridge was highly impressed with the highlight films for Jim and Darian (Williams). I think Josh (Hartigan) is leaning towards North Carolina State but the official visit to Pitt could change that."

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

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