football

Pinner special at fullback

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There was a time not too long ago that Jahleel Pinner weighed 237 pounds and the Mission Viejo, Calif., fullback realized he was too heavy to be effective on the football field.
So he said last weekend at the Mission Viejo Kickoff Classic that months ago he planned to work out twice-a-day to shed some extra pounds and would only take Sundays off.
"Oh wait," Pinner said. "I usually worked out on Sundays too."
The extra work has paid off.
Pinner, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound prospect, is a threat running the ball whether at running back or fullback and can catch the ball out of the backfield as well.
Last weekend in a victory over Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial, Pinner ran for a 6-yard touchdown and was effective on the ground but was more useful catching screen passes and then dodging defenders to pick up valuable yards.
He had a 15-yard touchdown reception in addition to catches of 36 and 16 yards which means Pinner can do a little bit of everything.
The USC commit is rated as the No. 1 fullback in the 2012 class by Rivals.com and there's no doubt he can do it all on the field.
"I've been working on it and now that I lost the weight I can catch the ball better and run with it to get yards," Pinner said. "I caught a little last year but hopefully I do it more this year.
"Once you do it more and more in practice then you get the feel for it. I can showcase my skills in a bunch of different ways."
A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Pinner said he has been recruited as a fullback by USC and has no inclination to play running back there.
Although he could be used in both spots by the Trojans, Pinner doesn't seem to have that breakaway speed needed to be a true running back threat in the Pac-12. He's fine with his future though and said he doesn't plan to take any other official visits except to USC.
What's also ironic in a way is that Pinner is excited for his senior season and then his future at USC where he said he expects they'll put some weight on him to really excel at the fullback spot.
"They'll bulk me up," Pinner said. "It's going to be great."
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