April 10, 2016
17.) Mike Pinckney – Miami, OLB, FL, 6’1” 215-Pounds
Pinckney was a consensus 3 star. The fact he was a mere three star makes me wonder what these sites need to see from a linebacker that plays in the nation’s most fertile hotbed of recruits. Maybe what hurt Pinckney is that he is a little undersized, compared to four stars, for a downhill thumper type of middle linebacker. If you look at the prototypical 4-star middle linebacker, he should be around 6’2” 225 if he’s a “thumper” and if he is 6’1” 215, he needs to have a hybrid skill set where he can blitz, come off the edge, and excel in coverage. This is me at my most diplomatic, trying to give my friends in the biz the benefit of the doubt.
Truth be told, Pinckney’s size is better than 90% of his peers.
6’1” 215 pounds is fine for an incoming freshman WILL linebacker if the kid has heart and speed. Pinckney checks all those boxes. He’s aggressive, plays downhill, can track the ball sideline to sideline and he isn’t a slouch in pass coverage. Mark Richt agrees with this, that’s why Pinckney has been getting considerable first team tick at the WILL position in his 3-4 scheme. It’s hard not to come away impressed with this kid when you watch his videos and read the reviews of his spring performances. It looks like Al Golden left the new staff a lot of linebacker talent to work with and this particular group has the promise to lead this defense for the next three years.