The Pitt football program added its 17th member of the 2021 recruiting class when linebacker Derrveron ‘’Bobby” Maxwell-Black (6-foot, 210 pounds) from Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg (FL) verbally committed.
Maxwell-Black has generally been rated a 3-star recruit by the major recruiting services. He had nine total scholarship offers but ultimately chose Pitt over Syracuse and Illinois. The hard-hitting linebacker registered 83 tackles (16 for a loss), four sacks and recorded three fumbles last season. Lakewood High School, a perennial powerhouse program had an outstanding 2019 season. The team went 21-1 with Maxwell-Black one of the leaders on defense.
To gain perspective on the Panthers’ newest linebacker, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Lakewood Defensive Coordinator Willie Tillman. Tillman was recruited to Purdue University by current tight ends coach Tim Salem. He coached at the collegiate level for 20 years.
“Bobby is a football player. Period. The best football for Bobby is way ahead of him. I think once he arrives at Pitt, gets better competition around him playing at a high level, its going to bring the best out of him,” stated Tillman. “Not that he’s not playing at a high level here at Lakewood but at Pitt he’s going to receive the coaching, the weight room, the nutrition and everything that comes with joining a big-time football program like Pitt.”
“Bobby already has great football skills: he’s not afraid to hit, he’s instinctive, loves contact, runs well and has a high football IQ. Pitt’s simply going to extenuate all of that.”
Pitt was the first P5 school to offer Maxwell-Black. He has consistently produced for Lakewood High school with back seasons recording over 80 tackles. Coach Tillman reports that Bobby currently weighs somewhere between 220 to 225 pounds.
“I’m excited for him. Off the field, Bobby is just a good person. He comes from a big family and he’s a family oriented. His mother and brothers are very supportive as well as his family. He’s going to be a big reason for our success this year.”
If you watch film on Maxwell-Black, it becomes very clear that he doesn’t just tackle players, he decimates them. Coach Tillman was asked about his aggression and hitting ability and he stated, “Bobby doesn’t hit like a hammer, he hits like a Mack truck! Bobby can run. He has a lot of speed. When you combine that speed with his strength and aggression, there’s a reason he known as a big hitter. The last two years, when he hit people, they went backwards. They don’t just fall; they go backwards and violently.”
“Bobby loves hitting, loves the physicality and that’s what you want to see in a football player. Linebackers must have a different mentality. Bobby certainly has that mentality.”
Maxwell-Black is the third Floridian to join the Panthers’ 2021 class. “Pitt’s getting a good one in Bobby. He’s going to be a great student-athlete and a good person,” said Tillman. “The fans are going to love him and his energy. They’ll love the way he plays.”
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru