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Pitt lands extra-large offensive lineman

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pitt has placed a premium on oversized offensive linemen in its 2010 recruiting class, and the Panthers have added their biggest prospect in 6-foot-6, 350-pound right guard Arthur Doakes of Lebanon High School.

Doakes picked the Panthers over scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and Troy.

He's Pitt's 15th recruit from the Class of 2010 and its second on the offensive line, joining 6-6, 310-pound four-star right tackle Matt Rotheram of North Olmsted, Ohio.

"I really loved it there," said Doakes, who was recruited by tight ends coach Brian Angelichio. "I have a really good feeling about Pitt. They were the first to offer me. They make you feel like family."

Doakes can bench press 405 pounds and squats 550. But he didn't play organized football until eighth grade and has only one season as a starter at Lebanon.

Even so, the Panthers identified him as a prospect early and invited Doakes to their Blue Chip Day for a men's basketball game against Cincinnati and to coach Dave Wannstedt's individual skills camp in June.

"A lot of other schools wanted to wait for my senior film," said Doakes, who also was receiving interest from Connecticut, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Virginia and West Virginia, "but I'm glad Pitt saw (potential) in me."

Despite his size, Doakes projects as an offensive guard because of his ability to protect the passer. He started at right guard and nose tackle for Lebanon as a junior and blocked for Big 33 Football Classic quarterback James Capello, an Iowa State recruit who passed for nearly 3,000 yards last fall.

"(Doakes) moves extremely well," said Lebanon defensive coordinator Frank Isenberg, a West Mifflin graduate who played offensive line at Kent State. "We are primarily a pass-oriented team — we run a no-huddle 'air raid' and throw the ball almost every down — and he's an excellent pass protector. He's really light on his feet. He runs very well. We do a lot of screens, and what we like to do with Arthur is get him out in front. He creates a lot of lanes for guys to run through."

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