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.
Pitt’s recruiting class attacked Virginia’s 757 area code extremely hard. With recruits like Rodney Hammond and Malik Newton from the area, Pitt and Chris Beatty have made their mark known.
Myles Alston is another standout from the area that the Panthers have reeled in the 2021 class thus far. A big 6-foot-2 receiver, Alston had offers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Virginia prior to committing to the Panthers.
So, what type of player does Alston’s tape show him to be?
Notes on the Tape
• Alston has some serious long speed for a guy who is 6-foot-2. There is legitimate 4.5 speed from Alston, who has significant juice to win downfield.
• Another thing that is unique for his size is his fluidity in and out of breaks. Alston flashes exciting smoothness with crisp footwork and flexible hips. That allows him to have a quick and efficient change of direction through his routes and after the catch.
• There needs to be some more hip sink in his routes. When changing directions, he often is a bit too upright at this point, but there are flashes of good hip sink. It is a consistency issue at this point.
• Alston catches balls away from his frame with ease. It was delightful to see him high point footballs and utilize his wide catch radius to the fullest extent possible by high pointing the football.
• The art of deception is something Alston has mastered. With effective head fakes and stemming, he can use his fluidity and deception to bait corners and then leave them in the dust.
• Alston is a wiry 175 pounds. He has to add more weight and muscle to utilize his frame to the fullest extent possible at the next level.
• There is potential to be pretty solid after the catch. At times, there were flashes of contact balance and physicality. Alston may not shake guys out of their shoes, but he can break those arm tackles. Adding more muscle will only help him in that regard.
• There are some flashes of good releases off the line. Not enough to say substantially if he is proficient in this area, but it was good to see active hands and feet with a real strategy off the line.
• Alston’s motor is on fire. In blocking especially, he gets after it and is overall, a pretty good blocker.
• At times, he does sail his route into the defensive back instead of flattening it out to give his quarterback more room to work with. That is somewhat minor at this point, but it does matter in the NCAA.
• It was a pleasant surprise to see how developed he was at attacking leverage and using it against the defensive back’s he faced based on their pre-snap alignments.
• He has length, fluidity, ball skills, and clean feet. If the wide receiver thing does not work out for him, Alston is a great candidate to be a converted cornerback.
Future Watch Outlook
Alston, for his size, has a unique, but an exciting blend of physical tools. The releases, speed, and fluidity are something a lot of guys simply do not have at 6-foot-2. His short-area quickness in particular in impressive. It allows him to separate at a consistent rate. While the routes could be sharper and he certainly needs to add some muscle to his frame, Alston looks like a guy who should have a bright future.
While watching Alston, a good comparison is former South Carolina wide receiver and now Oakland Raiders receiver Bryan Edwards. If Alston can even come close to reaching what Edwards was this is exciting. Alston has the makings of an alpha dog at the catch point. However, he is still dynamic and can separate at a high rate.
All in all, he may need a year to work on expanding his frame, but Alston could be a significant contributor at Pitt at the receiver position.