After watching the quarterback be pounded over the last couple years, there isn’t a Pitt fan with a pulse unaware of the need to significantly improve the offensive line. Steps have been taken over the last couple of years, but 2014 is the first year Pitt has landed two studs for the O-line in the same year. Mike Grimm committed a while ago, and after a long courtship Alex Bookser verbaled to Pitt.
Mt. Lebanon offensive lineman Alex Booker made a verbal commitment to Pitt. It is a good catch for Pitt as Bookser is rated a four-star offensive lineman by Rivals.com. Bookser also made official visits to Penn State, Ohio State and Tennessee.
Bookser is 6 feet 6, 295 pounds. He was a Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 selection and was named all-state today.
What’s funny about Bookser is he was recruited as an offensive lineman, but coaches in the WPIAL Class AAAA Southeastern Conference selected him first-team all-conference as a defensive lineman.
Yeah, but he is staying on the O-line. Ohio State was considered the other team he was really considering, so this is a big verbal. Bookser isn’t just a 4-star on Rivals.com. He is a universal 4-star on 247, Scout.com and ESPN.
Bookser should not be penciled in as a starter for next year. I don’t think he will redshirt, but he still needs a chance to develop. From the ESPN scouting report:
Bookser is a prospect with good size and ability. With focus on just offense and the same type of fire given on that side of the ball, he can develop into a very good college offensive lineman. We don’t see an immediate contributor as he needs to develop and polish technique, but he has the tools to grow into a fine starter.
Pass protection, especially, is where he needs to improve.
Given the way the regular season ended. The recent misses on recruiting and other questions that percolate when a fanbase is frustrated, this was a very big verbal for Coach Paul Chryst and the rest of the staff.
And now the focus turns to a couple other players.
Four-stars Montae Nicholson of Gateway and Shai McKenzie of Washington list Pitt among their final choices and will announce their plans Thursday and Friday.
It’s reportedly down to Michigan State and Pitt for Nicholson. As for McKenzie, he’s doing a hat tease. Tweeting three hats: Pitt, VT and GT.