Jabaal Sheard talks about his future

The University of Pittsburgh's football recruiting class of 2007 was rated amongst the best in the nation. The last player to commit to Pitt may be one of the best. The PantherDigest.com spoke with athletic defensive end Jabaal Sheard from Hollywood, FL.

University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt has slowly been rebuilding the Panthers defensive line. In an attempt to augment the Panthers pass rushing ability, Pitt added three outstanding defensive ends in the class of 2007. The last player to verbally commit was athletic defensive end Jabaal Sheard (6-foot-4 inches, 240 pounds) from Hollywood Hills High School in Hollywood, FL. Sheard chose the Pitt over Arizona State and Rutgers. South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn and Florida International were all in heavy pursuit of Jabaal.

"I'm happy with my final decision," Sheard said. "It came down to where I felt most comfortable and I really liked it at Pittsburgh. I think I can make an early impact."

Scout.com ranks Sheard a "three-star" prospect and the 66th best defensive end in the nation. As a senior, he registered 45 tackles and 12 sacks, following a junior year where he had 28 tackles and eight sacks. Jabaal, who's also a sprinter on his school track and field team, was voted first team All-County and selected to the Miami Herald's first team as well. He has been a two-year starter for Hollywood Hills High School.

"Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and Coach (Charlie) Partridge came down to my house for a final visit and I thought about committing then. I know the Panthers are building up numbers on the defensive line and they need pass rushers. I hope to fit that pass rushing role."

"I have looked at their two deep roster, especially their depth at defensive end, and I think I can push for early playing time. They basically told me to come in good shape and get ready to compete."

The PantherDigest.com spoke with Hollywood Hills Head High School Coach Al Lang and he described Sheard as "impossible to block one-on-one" and "a dependable player that never misses practice." When asked about his strengths, Jabaal quickly stated, "I'm pretty big at 240 pounds and I'm really fast. I can use my speed to get by linemen or use my strength to simply bull rush. I make things frustrating for quarterbacks."

Jabaal is capable of bench pressing 370 pounds and running the forty-yard dash in 4.6 seconds.

"I know they signed a good class last year, but I think our recruiting class will be the one to take Pitt to the next level. I'm excited to get up there. "

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

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