March 21, 2007

Growth continues for DE Romeus

Every football season, it seems that there are players that emerge and present themselves as contributors. In 2006, Pitt saw Doug Fulmer and Eric Thatcher grow from unknowns into playmakers before each suffered season-ending injuries.

While Fulmer and Thatcher each made their names on the field during games, Greg Romeus made a name for himself playing on the scout team, when he faced the first team offense on a daily basis.

"He tore us up last year on scout team," defensive line coach Greg Gattuso said Tuesday. "He has the ability to make crazy freaky plays, and you can't teach that. You can't teach it. You can't teach a kid to jump and intercept a pass or knock it down or to cover or run the quarterback down on a bootleg. He's got some really good abilities that God gave him; it's just a matter of refining what's naturally there."

But what's naturally there for Romeus is, by all accounts, all that's there, since the Florida product came to Pitt with just one year of experience, having only played in his senior season of high school. Coral Glades coach Rex Nottage brought Romeus to the attention of Pitt assistant Charlie Partridge the spring before the 2005 season (Romeus' senior year). Throughout that season, Nottage kept Partridge updated on Romeus' progress and potential.

"First off, it was his size," Partridge said. "You love having a 6'5" to 6'6" defensive end with growth potential, a good structure and frame, and who can run. He can change direction, he has good speed, and he has a lot of good potential."

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