Future watch is a continuing a series of stories breaking down film from the members of Pitt football’s recruiting Class of 2021 by Pittsburgh Sports Now analyst Nick Farabaugh.
Among Pitt’s 2021 recruiting class, there are few players with better offer sheets than that of pass rusher Trevion Stevenson. While he is only rated a three-star currently, Stevenson has offers from Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Texas, West Virginia, Cal, Penn State, TCU, and most recently, Florida. That is a four-star offer sheet. He has recently reaffirmed his Pitt commitment as well. Stevenson has to have some allure that makes that offer sheet come to fruition.
So, what makes Stevenson that desirable?
Notes From the Tape
• First, look, holy smokes this guy has incredible length. Stevenson’s arms reach to his knees. As an edge guy, with that natural length as a weapon, it will be all the easier for him to keep his pads clean around the arc.
• He has active hands. Immediately he tries to stake hands off of him if the offensive line does get those hands on him.
• Stevenson has a strong chop-rip move that he employs as well as an effective dip-rip. The spin move looks to be a work and progress and could be more fluid.
• There needs to be more of a power aspect to his pass rush toolbox. Stevenson does not get great penetration with a bull rush and his frame is a little wiry. Adding some muscle to that frame would help with his functional strength.
• The athletic tools are striking. Stevenson has an explosive get-off, fluid hips, and natural speed are all there.
• In short spaces, Stevenson is slippery and nifty with his hands. That allows him to make a lot of plays in the backfield against the run.
• His flexibility did not show up on tape in his pass rush. In fact, he seemed stiff. However, his change of direction indicates there is legitimate hip and ankle flexibility, so it is likely he just has not tapped into it yet.
• Stevenson’s motor runs hot and cold. It is inconsistent and it would be nice to see him go all out on every single play. When it is hot, he makes multiple rangy plays across the field.
• At times, his pad level swells and he plays a bit too upright. If he can get that pad level down, it will also helps with his bull rush.
• There were not many counters displayed by Stevenson, but that does not mean they are not part of his arsenal of tricks in the pass rush category.
• His field vision is very good. Stevenson can engage and disengage with ease once a ball carrier comes into his gap. He always knows where the football is and can make plays as a result.
• Stevenson showcases ways to win inside and outside, and through it, can create issues for offensive tackles.
Future Watch Outlook
Stevenson is the classic case of a guy who is incredibly green but has ridiculous upside. The natural tools Stevenson has from his length to athleticism are extremely key tools to have. Similar to Patrick Jones, who was another one of those guys that was raw coming out of high school, if Stevenson can be molded, Pitt has a really good football player here.
Pitt has shown their ability to develop defensive lineman. The defensive line as it currently stands speaks for itself. Stevenson’s entire appeal is that upside and it is significant upside. Pitt is a great place for Stevenson to land, and while he may need a redshirt year, he has the chance to be really fun.