Twenty years ago, Walt Harris was able to land highly rated 4-star fullback Dustin Picciotti from Central Bucks West in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
The physical, 6-foot-3, 235-pound Picciotti was the No. 1 ranked fullback in the country and one of the top 120 ranked players in the entire country. Unfortunately, the highly regarded player never got to fulfill his enormous potential.
After two years of battling concussion issues and numerous headaches, Picciotti called it quits and stopped playing football.
Fast forward to 2021 and the Pitt football program is back recruiting another member of Dustin’s family.
Last week, Cory Sanders and the Panthers staff extended an offer to 2023 middle linebacker Phil Picciotti from Pennridge Upper Senior High School in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Phil is the nephew of Dustin and has similar build of his uncle, as he is currently 6-foot-3, 225-pounds.
The news from Pitt gave Picciotti his fifth Division I offer, with the others coming from West Virginia, Virginia, Purdue and Northwestern.
Pittsburgh Sports Now was able to catch up with Picciotti to learn more about him and the early stages of his recruitment.
“I was going to lift with my team when my coach called me outside and Coach Sanders was on the phone,” said Picciotti. “He started telling me about Pittsburgh, what he liked about my film and why they decided to offer me. He told me that I look like a typical hard nosed, hit you in the mouth middle linebacker. They liked my length and the way that I’m able to move on the field. It was really exciting to receive an offer from Pitt. My uncle, Dustin, went to Pitt.”
Phil Piccioti – LB Pennridge 2023
Offers from Pitt, WVU, Northwestern, Virginia, Purdue. 6'3 225 Prospect that will start landing on a lot of Boards!
Let's add Speed, Agility, Quickness, Athleticism, Acceleration, Form & Power and create a BETTER MONSTER #TCJ @PhilPicciotti 👊 pic.twitter.com/GzLLXADvYf
— CoachJay – Elite 400 National Recruiting Expert (@CoachJayUConn) May 16, 2021
“I’m really excited with how my recruitment has started out. Right from the start, I haven’t had any communication with Division II schools or lower D-I, I’m hearing from all major, Power Five schools. That’s really exciting. That was come as a bit of a surprise. Initially, I was hoping to get D-I offers but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be right away and right off the bat.”
In terms of his strengths on the field, he plays a lot like his uncle in that he’s a physical player and doesn’t shy away from contact.
“I’ll be honest, I really like to hit people,” said Picciotti. “Whoever has the ball, I’ll hit them. I believe I have good vision on the field, I can move and I have good length, being 6-foot-3. I’m also someone that can play multiple positions with linebacker, tight end, running back. Anything that a team needs, I can and will do it for them. Right now, linebacker is my main position.”
Picciotti is starting to map out his summer plans in terms of visits and anticipates making trips to Virginia, Northwestern, Purdue and maybe Pitt.