Picone Talks Texas Tech Commitment

RaiderPower.com interviewed Mandeville (La.) linebacker Johnathan Picone shortly after he announced his commitment to Texas Tech on Saturday. Get the scoop on why he chose the Red Raiders and how he sees himself fitting in to the program.

Texas Tech picked up their second linebacker commitment of the 2016 class Saturday when Mandeville (La.) defender Johnathan Picone pulled the trigger.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker first called coach Kevin Curtis to let him know, and followed that up with a call to coach Kingsbury before tweeting it out and making headlines.

Picone cited meeting the coaches in person at the Houston satellite camp at Spring High School last week as the reason why he made the decision.

"Just meeting the coaches in person, shaking their hands, seeing the kind of men that they were. One thing I really wanted to do was to shake Coach Kingsbury's hand to see how hard it was, because you know if a man has soft hands, he doesn't work. I shook that thing and it was a rock."

Texas Tech's style of defense and the culture around the football program were what put the Red Raiders at the top of the list for him.

"I wanted to go to a blue-collar school, I wanted to go somewhere that would work."

While coach Curtis is Picone's primary recruiter, it would appear ILBs coach Zac Spavital will be his position coach at Tech. The new commit is mainly an edge rusher in Mandeville's defensive scheme - he put up 14 sacks and 19 TFL against 5A Louisiana competition - but he feels comfortable with the proposed change.

"They want me to play interior linebacker within the tackles, and they want me to possibly pass rush on third down. I'd probably be more of a run guy."

The coaching staff cultivated a relationship with the high school linebacker's parents during the recruitment process, and it seems to have paid off.

"My parents feel great about it. They just know it's an opportunity for me to compete at the highest level, they know my academics will be taken care of, and they developed a good relationship with the coaches over there too. So they feel very comfortable, they feel like I'll be in good hands."

Texas Tech has struck out with some Louisiana prospects in the past - a couple of times due to family situations - but the Mandeville Skipper says that will not be an obstacle for him.

"My parents will be able to make it out there. There's plenty of flights out there. My parents want to see me in person, playing in games on Saturdays. Obviously, they ideally would like me closer to home, but they're gonna let me go follow my dreams of playing football at the highest level. I just decided that Texas Tech is the best place for me to do that, so they're supporting me."

Picone, who will graduate in December and enroll early, will still take all five official visits during the season. It's still too early to know where those visits will be, but he plans on officially visiting Texas Tech no matter what.

"I'm just ready to be a part of the Red Raider family, and be the best defense in the Big 12."

Picone committed to Texas Tech over offers from Air Force, Army, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Toledo, and Troy.

Raider Power Top Stories

\r\n\r\nTexas Tech picked up their second linebacker commitment of the 2016 class Saturday when Mandeville (La.) defender Johnathan Picone pulled the trigger. \r\n

\r\nThe 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker first called coach Kevin Curtis to let him know, and followed that up with a call to coach Kingsbury before tweeting it out and making headlines.\r\n

\r\nPicone cited meeting the coaches in person at the Houston satellite camp at Spring High School last week as the reason why he made the decision.\r\n

\r\n\"Just meeting the coaches in person, shaking their hands, seeing the kind of men that they were. One thing I really wanted to do was to shake Coach Kingsbury's hand to see how hard it was, because you know if a man has soft hands, he doesn't work. I shook that thing and it was a rock.\"\r\n

\r\nTexas Tech's style of defense and the culture around the football program were what put the Red Raiders at the top of the list for him.\r\n\r\n

\"I wanted to go to a blue-collar school, I wanted to go somewhere that would work.\"

\r\n\r\nWhile coach Curtis is Picone's primary recruiter, it would appear ILBs coach Zac Spavital will be his position coach at Tech. The new commit is mainly an edge rusher in Mandeville's defensive scheme - he put up 14 sacks and 19 TFL against 5A Louisiana competition - but he feels comfortable with the proposed change. \r\n

\r\n\"They want me to play interior linebacker within the tackles, and they want me to possibly pass rush on third down. I'd probably be more of a run guy.\"\r\n

\r\nThe coaching staff cultivated a relationship with the high school linebacker's parents during the recruitment process, and it seems to have paid off.\r\n

\r\n\"My parents feel great about it. They just know it's an opportunity for me to compete at the highest level, they know my academics will be taken care of, and they developed a good relationship with the coaches over there too. So they feel very comfortable, they feel like I'll be in good hands.\"\r\n

\r\nTexas Tech has struck out with some Louisiana prospects in the past - a couple of times due to family situations - but the Mandeville Skipper says that will not be an obstacle for him.\r\n

\r\n\"My parents will be able to make it out there. There's plenty of flights out there. My parents want to see me in person, playing in games on Saturdays. Obviously, they ideally would like me closer to home, but they're gonna let me go follow my dreams of playing football at the highest level. I just decided that Texas Tech is the best place for me to do that, so they're supporting me.\"\r\n

\r\nPicone, who will graduate in December and enroll early, will still take all five official visits during the season. It's still too early to know where those visits will be, but he plans on officially visiting Texas Tech no matter what. \r\n

\r\n\"I'm just ready to be a part of the Red Raider family, and be the best defense in the Big 12.\"\r\n

\r\nPicone committed to Texas Tech over offers from Air Force, Army, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Toledo, and Troy. \r\n
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See what Texas Tech fans are saying here

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Officially committed to Texas Tech University!! Guns Up! ???? #WreckEm #RedRaiders #GunsUp pic.twitter.com/YWTAy6Ds82

— John Picone (@Jpicone7) June 13, 2015
Texas Tech picked up their second linebacker commitment of the 2016 class Saturday when Mandeville (La.) defender Johnathan Picone pulled the trigger.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker first called coach Kevin Curtis to let him know, and followed that up with a call to coach Kingsbury before tweeting it out and making headlines.

Picone cited meeting the coaches in person at the Houston satellite camp at Spring High School last week as the reason why he made the decision.

\"Just meeting the coaches in person, shaking their hands, seeing the kind of men that they were. One thing I really wanted to do was to shake Coach Kingsbury's hand to see how hard it was, because you know if a man has soft hands, he doesn't work. I shook that thing and it was a rock.\"

Texas Tech's style of defense and the culture around the football program were what put the Red Raiders at the top of the list for him.

\"I wanted to go to a blue-collar school, I wanted to go somewhere that would work.\"

While coach Curtis is Picone's primary recruiter, it would appear ILBs coach Zac Spavital will be his position coach at Tech. The new commit is mainly an edge rusher in Mandeville's defensive scheme - he put up 14 sacks and 19 TFL against 5A Louisiana competition - but he feels comfortable with the proposed change.

\"They want me to play interior linebacker within the tackles, and they want me to possibly pass rush on third down. I'd probably be more of a run guy.\"

The coaching staff cultivated a relationship with the high school linebacker's parents during the recruitment process, and it seems to have paid off.

\"My parents feel great about it. They just know it's an opportunity for me to compete at the highest level, they know my academics will be taken care of, and they developed a good relationship with the coaches over there too. So they feel very comfortable, they feel like I'll be in good hands.\"

Texas Tech has struck out with some Louisiana prospects in the past - a couple of times due to family situations - but the Mandeville Skipper says that will not be an obstacle for him.

\"My parents will be able to make it out there. There's plenty of flights out there. My parents want to see me in person, playing in games on Saturdays. Obviously, they ideally would like me closer to home, but they're gonna let me go follow my dreams of playing football at the highest level. I just decided that Texas Tech is the best place for me to do that, so they're supporting me.\"

Picone, who will graduate in December and enroll early, will still take all five official visits during the season. It's still too early to know where those visits will be, but he plans on officially visiting Texas Tech no matter what.

\"I'm just ready to be a part of the Red Raider family, and be the best defense in the Big 12.\"

Picone committed to Texas Tech over offers from Air Force, Army, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Toledo, and Troy.

See what Texas Tech fans are saying here

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