The Pitt football program received a verbal commitment from 2021 offensive tackle Terrence Rankl from Washington High School in Massillon, OH on Thursday. The 6-foot-5-inch, 290-pound prospect chose Pitt over Purdue, Kentucky, Arizona State, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Vanderbilt and Duke. The major recruiting services have tabbed him a 3-star recruit. Rankl was one team leaders that led the Tiger football team to an outstanding 14-1 record during the 2019 season.
To gain perspective on the Panthers’ newest lineman, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Washington High School head football coach Nate Moore.
“Terence plays tackle for us and he’s a natural pass protector. He has very good feet and a good feel for when to strike and how to strike,” said Moore. “I can see him protecting the blind side of Pitt’s quarterbacks for several years.”
When asked about Rankl’s size, he replied, “Terence is all of 6-foot-5 inches, maybe taller. The quarantine has been good for him weight wise. He’s currently tipping the scale at about 290 pounds. He has the frame to carry over 300 pounds. By the time he’s a sophomore or junior at Pitt and places a focus on his weight and body fat percentage, I could see him around 305 pounds.”
Rank’l was the 6th player to join the Panthers’ 2021 class and the first lineman to commit.
“Terrence started for us last year as a junior. As a sophomore, he was kind of a utility player. He played both tackle and tight end for us,” he said.
“We run a balanced offense. There are a lot of air raid concepts in the passing game and a pro style run game. There’s a lot of gap scheme and zone. Terence will be very well developed after his senior year in the run game. That’s one thing that he needed to improve on coming out of his junior year. We’ll continue to work with him on lower body strength, improving his ability to bend, be a knee bender and really drive people off the ball.”
“Terrence played at 265 pounds last years. He’s 290 pounds now and he’s had drastic improvements in strength,” he said. “I’m excited to see him out on the field and show people that he’s improved all of his weaknesses.”
Coach Moore was asked about Rankl’s off-field demeanor and quickly replied, “First of all, he’s a 4.0 student. Terence is a very high academic guy. Attending an institution with great academics was very important to him. That’s what made Pitt so attractive to him.”
“He had offers from Duke and Vanderbilt. Stanford and Northwestern were starting to show serious interest as well. That says a lot about his character. He’s a leader as well that’s done incredible for us during the quarantine. We put a lot of pressure on our senior leaders to get their units going as far as their workouts and staying on top of academics. Terence has led the offensive line group and organized group workouts. He’s a leader and I’m proud of him.”
Coach Moore, like many football fans, monitors the major recruiting sites. He studied the national ranking of 2021 offensive tackles and had a few thoughts. “I saw somewhere that Terence was ranked the 74th ranked offensive tackle in his class and obviously that would be based on his junior year evaluation,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a guy as a senior that’s going to jump over a lot of guys. He’s probably going to end up top 30 in his class when all is said and done.”
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru