Verbal View: Jake Buccigrossi

West Virginia got the first of an expected 3-4 offensive line commitments in its football recruiting class of 2016 when Jake Buccigrossi announced his pledge to the Mountaineer program. How does the exterior lineman figure to anchor WVU's class at the position?

WHAT TO LIKE

First, Jake Buccigrossi is a tackle prospect, which highlights his mobility and ability to protect the edge of the pocket. He's already 290 pounds, so while he might have some weight room work left to accomplish, he certainly has the frame and the bulk upon which to build. He played on both offense and defense in high school, which gives him a working knowledge of how defensive linemen might attack him, and has allowed him to refine his technique.

Buccigrossi shows good reach on the line, and is able to get out to wide rushers and either reroute them upfield, or, as often as not, blow them completely out of the play. He moves down the line well when pulling, and on contact delivers a good punch that allows him to keep opponents off balance. He's at his best in the run game, where he often ties into opponents and completely obliterates them from the play.

Jake Buccigrossi Video


POSSIBLE CONCERNS

Like many tall linemen, Buccigrossi can tend to stand up to early after the snap, which would cause him to lose leverage at times. However, when he does stay low, he shows the ability to win the position battle and get underneath his opponent, which suggests that it's just a matter of forming good habits in order to stay down. He does that in his defensive line highlights, and there's no apparent stiffness in his lower body that would prevent him from keeping good pad level.

While Buccigrossi fires out aggressively off the line in most plays on video, his kick step and drop into pass protection isn't easy to grade. The majority of offensive plays show him run blocking in North Hills' ground-oriented offense, so he may not have the number of reps in pass protection that he does as a run blocker. However, he does show quick feet in the run game, so it may just be a matter of time for him to hone his drops in the protection game.


OVERALL ANALYSIS

Grabbing another player out of the Pittsburgh area is always good for West Virginia, even though the Mountaineers haven't been able to succeed in getting the home area Pitt Panthers back on the schedule. For now, recruiting battles are the only things alive in the Backyard Brawl, and in this one WVU came out on top. With several other area recruits also on the line, this win could pay dividends for West Virginia down the road.

Getting a lineman with excellent run blocking aggressiveness is also important for the Mountaineers, who have had trouble in recent season in moving the pile on short yardage situations and grinding out first downs to seal wins. While Buccigrossi, like any offensive lineman, figures to redshirt and develop over his first couple of years in college, his strengths as an aggressive blocker and quick starts off the ball could help set the tone for WVU lines of the future.

West Virginia Commitments


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