Pitt got a new 2013 verbal commitment last week when Maryland athlete Rachid Ibrahim (The Avalon School) gave his verbal pledge to the Panthers. Ibrahim became the 19th member of Pitt's 2013 class (numbers have shifted up and down with Corey Clement's decommitment and the addition of Devon Edwards).
Ibrahim is listed as a 3-star ATH on both Rivals and Scout. At the time of his commitment, it looked like he would probably play safety at Pitt.
"On the defensive side of the ball, he’s a very hard hitter," said Tad Shields, Ibrahim's high school coach. "He likes to come up and make plays in the running game or come in on a safety blitz, and he’s very effective at that."
I still think safety is where he will ultimately end up, but Clement's decommitment might open the door for him to play running back in college. Ibrahim is the primary running back for his high school team.
"He has a very classical style, in the mold of a Robert Smith-type runner," Shields said. "He has long strides, he’s fast, he has good vision, he sets up blocks."
Bonus points for the Robert Smith reference. Shields said that Todd Graham's staff had been looking at Ibrahim, and that after they left, interest from Pitt sort of fell off. Recently, wide receivers coach Bobby Engram re-ignited the relationship with Ibrahim and Engram handled the primary recruiting from that point.
"I think it’s just his level of comfort with the coaching staff and the other players he got to meet," Shields said of Ibrahim's decision to pull the trigger.
Here's a YouTube clip of Ibrahim's sophomore highlights, if you're into that sort of thing: