Gilman LB Devon Porchia commits to Pitt
Devon Porchia has the speed and strength to create trouble as a pass-rushing outside linebacker.
But one of the main reasons the Gilman senior was so heavily recruited -- and committed to Pittsburgh on Friday -- is his ability to also drop back in coverage.
"I definitely feel like it is [important] to be able to drop back in coverage, because most of the soft spots [in a defense] are there," said Porchia, who also had offers from Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Buffalo. "[Coaches] definitely brought that up a lot in talking to me."
The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Porchia has started for Gilman since his sophomore year. He acknowledges being undersized for a college linebacker at this point, but he anticipates redshirting a year to get bigger and also adapt to the Panthers' defensive scheme.
He said he was recruited to play a similar role to the one he now fills for the Greyhounds.
"He plays our strong-side outside linebacker, and he has really good range," Gilman assistant coach Henry Russell said. "He's 6-2 and he has long arms, which allows him to rip blockers off him and then use his speed."
Russell praised Porchia's ability to drop back in coverage, but he also noted that Porchia shouldn't be discounted as a pass-rusher.
"He can do both," Russell said. "He packs a pretty good punch when he hits you, so we like to bring him off the edge some, too. And he's very valuable for us in stopping the run."
Russell said Porchia had a few sacks last season and also finished with two interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown in a win over Good Counsel).
Porchia also showed his burst when he had the occasional opportunity to carry the ball as a running back last year.
His first carry went for a 45-yard gain against Loyola.
Porchia said he doesn't expect to get many carries this fall, but that's not a concern of his.
"Just getting better -- that's always the main goal for me," he said. "That and trying to get another ring."
Photo of Devon Porchia (No. 22) by Karl Merton Ferron / The Baltimore Sun / Sept. 04, 2010