Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pitt 2021 commitment offensive lineman Terrence Rankl wasn’t even sure if he’d have an opportunity to play his senior season for Massillon Washington High School in Ohio.
Fortunately, the season did happen and now he and his teammates have the chance to do something that Massillon hasn’t accomplished in 50 years and that’s win a Ohio Division II state championship.
Rankl’s team will take on rival Archbishop Hoban and will be looking for revenge. This is the third consecutive season that Massillon has faced Archbishop Hoban in the state championship and have lost the previous two matchups. Rankl wants to break the streak this Friday in his last high school game before beginning his college career with Pitt.
“This means a lot and is probably the greatest opportunity that I can get because I’m been a starter on the team the last two years that have unfortunately have lost in the state championships game, my sophomore year I was a blocking tight end and last year, I was the starting right tackle,” said Rankl. “This year I have a chance to end things by getting a ring. It’s also very sentimental because Massillon hasn’t won a state championship since 1970.”
“At the beginning of August, no one knew if we’d be playing this year and as a team, all we wanted was a chance to get back to the state championship game and win it this time. Now here we are, we have that chance so it’s very sentimental.”
Rankl’s main goal coming into the season was to continue to win, which is something he’s done a lot during his career. Consider that while at Massillon, Rankl has only lost a total of three high school games, two of those coming in the state title game. Since he was already committed to Pitt, did Rankl have any individual goals or areas of his game that he wanted to work on this season?
“I knew my run-game blocking was good and so was my pass-game blocking, I didn’t allow a sack all of last year,” said Rankl. “This year, I wanted to develop and play with more of a mean streak and become more of a mauler on the field. I believe I was able to become that pretty well this year.”
Rankl (6’6″, 275), who committed early to Pitt back in April, is one of four offensive lineman in Pitt’s Class of 2021. Before deciding on Pitt, the 3-star tackle also received offers from Arizona State, Cincinnati, Duke, Iowa State, Kentucky, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Liberty and numerous MAC programs.
“I just talk to all three of the coaches that recruited me to Pitt weekly, Coach Collins, Coach Borbely and Coach Narduzzi,” said Rankl. “They’ll either call me Saturday morning during pregame Sunday following their game or on Friday before my game. Yes, they’re still actively recruiting me.”
Win or lose on Friday, Rankl realizes that’ll be it for him in high school and is ready and eager to get to Pitt to try and continue his winning ways with the Panthers.
“I obviously want to win the state championship really bad but I’m also looking forward to getting to Pitt. I want to enroll early and I believe that will be very beneficial to me as a football player.”