CoachSpeak: Fiore Breaks Down Pinnix-Odrick

Montclair (N.J.) High defensive end Julian Pinnix-Odrick gave Rutgers a non-binding oral commitment early Wednesday afternoon, and soon after Mounties coach John Fiore gave his detailed thoughts on what the Scarlet Knights are getting.

Of all the superlatives Montclair (N.J.) High coach John Fiore sent Julian Pinnix-Odrick's way, the most exciting thing for Rutgers fans may be the comparison the coach made with to the Rutgers commit's brother.

"You see where his brother is at," Fiore said, "and according to his dad, he thinks Julian is a few steps ahead of where Jared was at this point in their careers."

Jared Odrick's career developed fine after his days at Lebanon (Pa.) High. He went on to become an all-American at Penn State and was a first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Julian Pinnix-Odrick became the seventh member of Rutgers' 2012 class when he committed to coach Greg Schiano lunchtime today.

And Fiore, who became Montclair High's coach 15 months ago, was gushing about what Rutgers is getting.

"He's just a great, great young man," Fiore said. "He's extremely coachable. He's got a great motor. He's a vocal, plus a work ethic, leader. He's a leader in our hallways in school. He doesn't sit there and go with the flow. You never see him saggin' his pants, or with a hat on in the hallway.

"He's always studious and doing the right thing. Teachers love him. He's in a lot of high honors courses with some of our extremely high academic kids."

Pinnix-Odrick was one of the most recruited defensive ends in the northeast. Among the schools to offer were Penn State, Boston College, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State and Pittsburgh.

He made 82 tackles and registered 10 sacks as a junior, and also spent time playing offensive line.

"I think he's going to be a great defensive lineman, either an end or, like his brother, if he bulks up to a certain point, a 3-technique," Fiore said. "He would be a great offensive lineman also, but he's going to Rutgers to play defensive line, and he's going to be an extremely good one there."

At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, Pinnix-Odrick has the body type to be a very good rusher off the edge, and also possesses very good athleticism.

"I think his game is going to translate well," Fiore said. "He's got another year to build on that body. He's got another year to get stronger. His strength gain in (15 months), the leaps and bounds he's made in the weight room, forget about it. By the time he gets to Rutgers and starts working with (strength) coach (Jay) Butler, forget about it."

And while Pinnix-Odrick has the physical tools to be a dominating player, Fiore pointed to his player's "intelligence" as what stood out the most.

"He can feel the leverage," Fiore said. "He knows when he can go inside when he's rushing the passer and get away with it. He knows when he has to stay outside and keep the integrity of the pocket. He's really, really bright offensively and defensively, making checks and knowing his assignments, helping other players.

"He's got all the physical tools, but along with that, he loves talking x's and o's. He will sit with anybody and do it. He comes in here and draws plays for me all the time. I think his mind for the game is really going to help him at the next level."

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