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Perkasie native Phil Picciotti commits to Oklahoma

Pennridge junior Phil Picciotti (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

While many across the country were setting off fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July Monday night, Phil Picciotti set off fireworks of his own.

The Perkasie native announced on Twitter that he will be continuing his football and academic careers at the University of Oklahoma.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker selected the Sooners after narrowing down his options to a final four that included Auburn University, the University of Michigan and the University of Nebraska.

“The overall feel when I was there on my visits,” the four-star recruit pointed to as a difference-maker. “Also, I could see the vision (Oklahoma head) coach (Brent) Venables and all the coaches have and that is to win a championship. Also, coach Venables has a history of creating great linebackers. Those are a couple things that separated those schools from each other.”

“I think it’s great for him and we wish him the best,” Pennridge head coach Chuck Burgy, who worked with Picciotti on blitzes and stunts as the defensive line coach and taught him in business class last year, said. “He is a hardworking kid. He’s got a laser focus for what he wants out of the sport. He’s been committed to fine-tuning his craft since I’ve known him.”

Picciotti’s decision was the final step in a recruiting process that started in January 2021 when he received his first offer from the University of Virginia. Since then he’s met with coaches, visited campuses and watched the offers roll in while trying to make the best decision.

“It was a great experience, but also it’s a tough experience too,” he said, “because you have a lot of points of views on where you should go. Then, it’s just thinking about what is the best place for you and a place that you’ll excel at. It was definitely a hard decision, but it was fun while it lasted.”

“He was identified pretty early,” Burgy said. “The name in Bucks County goes back to the CB West days (Phil’s uncle Dustin Picciotti) and whatnot. He came in wearing that and I guess it’s a lot to live up to. You wouldn’t know it. He’s not an ego guy. He’s a kid. He’s with his friends, working hard, asking questions. He’s trying to be a leader. You would not think, short of seeing the carousel of coaches that came through since December, that he was going somewhere as big as he is. He keeps a mild manner and low profile. He’s humble about it, which is amazing given the attention these guys get every visit. He’s done all his official visits in the last two months or so. Just that level of attention for a 16-17 year old kid, to hold it together is admirable.”

Picciotti is ranked as the class of 2023’s No. 6 overall prospect in Pennsylvania and No. 11 linebacker prospect in the country.

He earned Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery first team All-Area and Suburban One League National Conference first team All-League honors after his junior season at Pennridge in 2021. In 12 games he totaled 144 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, one sack and two forced fumbles. He added 250 yards and four touchdowns on the ground offensively.

As a sophomore in 2020, he earned first team All-League honors while helping the Rams win the SOL National championship and reach the District 1-6A title game.

The 2021 campaign was Picciotti’s final one with the Rams. He is transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for his senior season.

“I think it will bump up my IQ and set me up for the future at college,” he said. “Better coaching, better competition, it will just set me up better so I can go into Oklahoma feeling great about myself and what I have to bring to the table when I get there.”

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