Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule had a heavy influence on the 2021 Senior Bowl, even urging players at one point (in a fairly viral moment) to embrace the tough love. After all—the harder they get coached, the more the coaches then have to . . . coach.
And although last year’s American Team coach was more of an observer than a . . . coach, Rhule has still made his mark down in Mobile, Ala. this weekend.
One of those marks was made on University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, who praised Rhule’s ability as a motivator.
“He’s a great person. It comes down to people first in this business,” Pickett said of Rhule, via Ellis Williams of the Charlotte Observer. “Talking to all the players that he’s coached when I was thinking about committing, that’s really all it’s about. How great of a guy he is and how hard they play for him.”
These past few days, in fact, haven’t been the only experience Pickett has had with Rhule. Back in April of 2016, the Ocean Township, N.J. native committed to playing for Rhule’s Temple Owls. That commitment, of course, fell through as the three-star recruit would change course to Pittsburgh two months later.
— Big Red Football (@OT_Football) April 9, 2016
With the Panthers in possession of the 2022 draft’s sixth overall pick, Pickett could be reunited with the man he once promised part of his football career to. But if Rhule decides to pluck Pickett again, there’ll be no going back—for either party.