Couch A Center Of Attention

After a quick glance at Matt Couch, an offensive lineman from East Pennsboro High School near Harrisburg, Pa., one could easily tell that he's totally different.

After growing two inches and adding some 30 pounds since last year, the 6-foot-2, 275-pound Matt Couch appears to be a recruiting prospect on the rise. So, the coaching staff at Pittsburgh wanted to get an up-close-and-personal look at him during the Panthers Prospects Camp earlier this month.

"Things are really shaping up pretty well for me since last season, because of my growth spurt and putting on the good weight,'' Couch said. "I've had more than 30 coaches talk to me this spring, and I've done pretty well at the camps I've attended. So, I'm very confident that I'll get some offers soon.''

Couch is an intriguing prospect because he can play guard and center, but he primarily has played center in high school and has a lot of experience there. And with junior-college transfer Robb Houser the only experienced center on Pitt's roster this season with two seasons of eligibility remaining, Couch could redshirt as a freshman and be ready to go after that.

"We use the spread offense,'' Couch said. "So, I've had a lot of work out of the shot-gun, but I can block pretty well for the running game. In college, though, I just want to get on the field, so I'll play anywhere they want me, either guard or center. I always liked Pitt and came to their prospects camp last year, too.

"This year, with my new size, Coach Angelichio thinks that things will really pick up. But I would love to get an offer from Pitt. The team is getting better all the time, and the facilities are great. They practice in the same facility with the Steelers. There's Heinz Field and a great coaching staff. The strength coach is great, so everything is top-notch here. What's not to like?''

While Couch certainly had a solid performance at Pitt, some programs might want to wait for more game film from him due to his change in body type.

"Everybody says that I'm a whole different ballplayer,'' Couch noted. "My junior film was pretty good, but add that to what I am now ... and I just turned 17 a few weeks ago. So, I could be going into my junior year. I'm just a late bloomer, but that's not a bad thing. As long as I keep working hard, the sky's the limit.

"And once I get into a program, after a redshirt year, who knows how good I can be, right? Coach Tony Wise gave me a few tips to help me out and to make me a better player, so all I have to do is show him that I listed to him and can do what he told me. And if everything goes all right, I'll get an offer.''

That just might take a while to happen, but Couch isn't in a hurry. A late-bloomer like him knows that good things can come to those who wait.

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