Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Edition of the Top 20 Prospects in PA for 2013

1.  Robert Foster, Central Valley HS (Monaca) WR-  Clearly the best prospect in the state, and maybe the best receiver prospect in the country.  He has the good length at 6'2", runs in the 4.4s, and has great athleticism.  But he also has good hands, knows how to play the position, and is great with the ball in his hands.  If that wasn't enough, he also has great kick and punt return skills.  Put it all together and you have a future superstar.  Pittsburgh may be the favorite, but every major program in the country, including Penn State, Ohio State, USC, Michigan, Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, and Oregon has offered him.

2.  Adam Breneman, Cedar Cliff HS (Camp Hill) TE-  The new breed of tight end who at 6'5" and 225 pounds, has great hands, speed, and running ability.  He needs to add size and improve his blocking, but he is a hard working, high character kid who has a huge future.  Has committed to PENN STATE over many offers, including Pittsburgh, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Stanford, and Wisconsin.

3.  Dorian Johnson, Belle Vernon Area HS (Belle Vernon) OT-  A few months ago I said that this 6'6" 280 athlete has the potential to be a big time recruit and now it's happening.  He has great size with a frame to get much bigger, he's tough and aggressive, and he can really move for such a big kid.  Pittsburgh is considered the favorite, but Penn State is coming on strong.  Other offers include Alabama, Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.

4.  Patrick Kugler, North Allegheny HS (Wexford) OG/C- Kugler is every bit as talented as Johnson but because he is projected inside and not a left tackle, he drops down a spot.  But make no mistake about it, he still has the potential to be a big time star in college.  At 6'4" and 270 pounds, he needs to add weight as well as strength, but he is mobile and displays great aggressiveness.  His father, Sean, is the offensive line coach for the Steelers so he is also well advanced in his technique.  Committed to MICHIGAN over the likes of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan State, Stanford, and Virginia Tech.

5.  David Williams, Imhotep Institute Charter School (Philadelphia)-  For some reason, the state does not produce the elite running back prospects the way they used to, but Williams is a national recruit with a huge upside.  He's solidly built at 6'0" and 190 pounds, runs legitimately in the 4.4 range, and has great running instincts.  His current top list is Penn State, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Miami, but he also has offers from Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Nebraska, and West Virginia.

6.  Alex Anzalone, Wyomissing Area HS (Wyomissing) LB-  Every year in the state there is one lesser known kid who comes out of nowhere and blows up.  This year it's this 6'3" 220 pound athlete.  He has to get bigger and stronger but he has a lean frame so that should not be a problem.  He can really run for a linebacker and is a long strider.  He also displays great instincts and just knows how to play football.  Committed to OHIO STATE and had one of the most impressive offer lists in the entire country, which included Pittsburgh, Penn State, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford, and USC.

7.  Tyler Boyd, Clairton Area HS (Clairton) WR-  The Clairton Bears are a huge Single A power and they have put out many high major players over the years, but none are better prospects than this wide receiver.  He is very thin at 170 pounds, at most, but he has good length at 6'1", and he can run in the 4.4s with great athleticism.  He has what it takes to be a great college receiver.  Pittsburgh and West Virginia may be the leaders, but other offers include Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Boston College.

8.  Mike McClinchey, William Penn Charter School (Philadelphia)-  If size is what you want on your offensive line look no further than the 6'9" 280 pound McGlinchey.  He obviously is too thin now but it's also obvious that he has a lot of frame to add much more.  The fact that he has the great height to go with excellent footwork means he could really turn into a quality lineman in the future.  Committed to NOTRE DAME over offers that included Pittsburgh, Penn State, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

9.  Scott Orndoff, Seton-LaSalle HS (Pittsburgh) TE-  The former Wisconsin commit has superb 6'6" 250 pound size to go with very good speed and athleticism.  He can also really run with the ball in his hands.  He plays spread out for the most part so he will need to learn to block, but with his size that should not be a problem.  Committed to PITTSBURGH over the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Virginia, and West Virginia.

10.  Chavas Rawlins, Monessen Area HS (Monessen) QB/WR-  Started off as a sleeper at the small Mon-Valley school, but when you're 6'4" and 190 pounds, and you run in the 4.4s, college coaches will find you.  He's very raw as a quarterback, but it's worth trying him there first.  If he doesn't work out, he could always make a great receiver.  As a bonus, his brother Justice, a linebacker, is one of the best junior prospects in the country and the brothers have expressed an interest in playing together. Last week Pittsburgh was the first to offer the younger Rawlins, though he may actually be an even better prospect as a baseball player.  As of now, West Virginia may be the favorite with North Carolina, South Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia, Northwestern, Purdue, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech some of the other schools who have offered.

11.  Delton Williams, Cathedral Prep School (Erie)  S/RB-  Most are recruiting at him as a safety, but he can also project as a running back.  The ability to project at multiple positions always helps when it comes to getting an offering, especially when, as in the case with Williams, you are a fast and athletic 6'2" 205 pounds.  Offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Rutgers, and West Virginia.

12.  Zayd Issah, Central Dauphin HS (Harrisburg) LB-  Very good player who had a great junior year as he lead his team to the state championship in Quad A.  He plays a little stiff so he may be forced to play inside, but he has faster straight line speed than he looks and he has the frame to get stronger and bigger than his current 6'3" and 205 pounds.  Penn State has offered and it's hard to image that he won't end up there, but other offers have come from Pittsburgh, Virginia, Rutgers, Iowa, Maryland, Boston College, and Arizona State.

13.  Damion Terry, Cathedral Prep School (Erie) QB-  The top quarterback prospect in the state, he has great 6'4" 210 pound size and very good athleticism.  More of a quarterback than can run instead of a running quarterback, but his mobility is definitely well above average.  Very good arm strength and effortlessly throws a great long ball.  One of the biggest steals in the state and he committed to MICHIGAN STATE over offers from Boston College, Duke, and Illinois.

14.  Brian Lemelle, Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg) WR-  The day of the 5'11" receiver is over for the most part since most colleges go for size at the position, but there's sometimes a place for players like Lemelle who has good speed, athleticism, and hands.  He can also return kicks and punts.  He isn't great in any aspect but he's a good all around player who should help any team.  Offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, Iowa, Virginia, Cincinnati, Purdue, and Rutgers.

15.  DeShawn Coleman, Hickory HS (Hermitage) RB-  Small, but electrifying athlete at 6'0" and 170 pounds.  Runs in the 4.4s and has great athleticism.  Dominated as a junior against inferior competition and grades may be an issue, but if he shows the same kind of scary skill set in college that he has in high school he could be a really good player.  Committed to WEST VIRGINIA over Purdue.

16.  Justin Moody, George Washington HS (Philadelphia) DT-  He was very overrated by the national recruiting services early on, but he does have the potential to be good if it all comes together for him.  At 6'3" and 270 pounds, he already has good size to go along with a quick burst and natural strength.  Rutgers and Temple have offered.  

17.  Andrew Nelson, Hershey HS (Hershey) OT-  This is a player that I have been very impressed with for months.  He obviously needs to get a lot bigger and he's not very strong right now, but if you want your linemen to be athletic you can't do much better than this guy.  Nelson can flat out fly and would often beat the gunners down the field on punt returns even though he was the long snapper.  If he can retain his speed after getting bigger and stronger then he can be excellent.  Committed to PENN STATE over Pittsburgh, Maryland, Northwestern, Temple, and Missouri.  

18.  Curtis Cothran, Council Rock North HS (Newtown) DE-  Under valued end that already stands at 6'5" and 235 pounds.  Good athleticism and range, while displaying a lot of aggressiveness.  Once he gains more weight and strength, he could be excellent.  Chose PENN STATE over Temple, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Maryland.  

19.  Hodari Christian, McKeesport Area HS (McKeesport)  LB/S-  A bit of a tweener at 6'0" and 210 pounds, but he displays good speed, athleticism, and instincts.  Could be a very good college player if he's put in the right position.  West Virginia and Pittsburgh lead, while Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, and Rutgers have also offered.  

20.  Shakir Soto, G.A.R. Memorial HS (Wilkes-Barre) DE-  Highly productive player with a lot of character and maturity, to go with a good 6'3" and 235 pound frame.  Needs to get bigger but has good athleticism and plays aggressively.  Committed to PITTSBURGH over Virginia, Maryland, Boston College, and Temple.


  1. Chris, how worried should Pitt fans be that we only have two committs on this list?

    1. I wouldn't be worried at all. If Pitt lands Foster and Johnson then they should be ecstatic, and that's very possible. And Boyd is a possibility, too.

  2. Awesome. Thanks for the info, Chris!

  3. Chris I remember reading Damion Terry commenting about being interested in Pitt but not getting many calls from the staff. If PC decided to go after him, what are the chances they can get him?

  4. I count 10 of the 20 have yet to commit.
    Lets be realistic... doubtful Foster selects Pitt...
    Good shot for Johnson, Boyd, Rawlins...
    but need more beefy OL and DL... guess they are coming out of Ohio.

    1. Rawlins has already eliminated Pitt. And as far as being realistic, when have you ever let that get in your way!!

    2. Do you really think Foster to Pitt is realistic..
      I didn't think Rawlins eliminated Pitt.. and you didn't mention it above..
      He is not QB material... but he is quite an athlete.

    3. If you listen to foster and people close to the situation, YES.

    4. pk, my sources say Foster is a No to Pitt. I don't know where he will land... my opinion says Michigan.
      Also, Foster is not running track... disappointing.

  5. Great article, Doke. We've been missing your content, even if a minor detractor is the fact that it provides more stuff for Joe D to comment on.

    Is there an ignore feature on your blog? I would definitely appreciate it.

  6. Doke -

    Is this about where you expected the Chryst-led Panthers to be at this point? Any more buzz about whether he is stepping it up in recruiting? And what will it take for Pitt to start recruiting at parity with Penn State other than winning?

  7. Of the 10 that have committed...
    2 to Pitt
    2 to PSU
    6 Out of State

    1. Of the ten that have NOT committed...

      Pitt has made offers to 9

      Wasn't the lack of offers your big issue a few weeks ago?

    2. Yes... Since February...
      Over 70 offers have been made last I looked.
      But, if they are Johnny come late with the offer.. so what!!

    3. 82 offers made per Rivals..
      OH - 22
      PA - 20
      FL - 11
      Love the diversity of offers!!

    4. Johnny come late? It's April, LOI Day is next February. While it is true that 10 people on this list have made "commitments" they are only verbal. Any of them could change their minds by next year.

      Pitt has been deliberate with the recruiting so far, but you would have a had time proving that they lost anyone because of this.

      The best selling Chryst can do is have a winning season. Let's see how the commitment list looks in December.

    5. rkr,
      Big difference being the 1st to offer a kid versus the 10th... and who will land the recruit... that is my point.
      Some of those to get offers are no brainers but it took Chryst and crew weeks, months to get the offer out.
      As you said, we will see in December. I've got my fingers crossed but also trying to be realistic as to whom he can land.

  8. When did Rawlings rule out Pitt? He was just at practice not long ago

  9. Chris, just saw that pitt offered taivon jacobs out of maryland. He reportedly has 4.35 speed. Doesnt get much faster than that!

  10. Chris - thanks for the update. Have been missing your posts on the FB side!

    I'm hoping we get 2-3 of the remaining uncommitteds above... any more than that and I'll be real happy. O"Brien seems to be making a great impression and Meyer is .... well, he's Meyer.

  11. One thing I miss about Wanny: drawing the proverbial keep-out line around SW-PA. If there's a line now, it seems to be dashed.

    1. Yes but he greatly over recruited the area also. As joe points out, this staff is spreading the wealth. Theyve hit ohio hard and have a lot of offers out in florida, the carolinas, maryland, nj, and various places in the midwest.

  12. Imma - that "wall" DW was going to build had a lot of open gates in it though. I agree with pk above that Wannstedt's recruiting was too WPA concentrated and I wonder if sometimes local products get over hyped just because of where they play HS ball.

    It will be interesting to see how Engram does in the Eastern part of the state & NJ

    1. Honestly I expect PC to land Foster, Johnson, Boyd and the Williams kid from Erie. Agree with you that Wanny was too WPA centric for awhile, but a lot of that comes from trying to placate the fan base. Looking at how PC has approached recruiting with his offers, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of out of state kids in his recruiting classes, because that is essentially how Wisconsin developed classes. Having Engram will help with WR recruits, and Haering will get PC into any living room in WPA.

      Mike W.

    2. Agree with you Rkohberger....
      Wanny teams became wpial all-star teams... And yes, I do believe many wpial players are over-hyped...
      Diversity is key... also builds competition for playing time. Wanny had a union seniority system which bothered me instead of playing the best player.

    3. I don't think you'll see PC focus on the WPIAL as much as Wanny did, although this isn't the best year to do that. Between Haering and Rudolph, he has more than enough contacts in this area to recruit who he wants. I think you'll see a lot more kids out of Ohio and the eastern PA, though.

      Wanny ran the program the way it was run when he was playing at Pitt, doesn't correlate to today's players though. I don't think you'll see tht with PC, he really has to win the BE this year with the conference beng so weak, and none of these players are established with him.

      Mike W.

  13. Chris,

    "Spring Edition of the Top 25 Prospects in PA for 2013" Not trying to be a smartass, but I only see 20...where are the other 5?

    1. LMAO...
      I didn't even pick up on that...
      Good one..

    2. Joe, who is your source? Because every other "source" says foster is a pitt lean and foster or his coaches have ever even mentioned michigan. I think you just like to stir things up.

    3. I noticed my mistake right away but they changed how you edit on this site and I couldn't figure out how to do it!!

    4. Foster has never mentioned michigan... you are correct. (my opinion when the dust settles) Foster is not a Pitt lean... sources.. kids from hopewell to bf. It is Pitt people saying he is a pitt lean...
      For instance, I heard months ago that Foster was not going to finish the track season... he did do some track workouts then quit!! Pretty good source I'd say.

    5. If Urban Meyer wants Foster badly enough, he'll get him - case closed.

      Seriously, why would Foster want to play for Paul Chryst and Pitt vs. Urban Meyer and Ohio State?

      Is Chryst going to convert him to the O-Line?

      Geez, I forgot...just offer - sry.

      As far as we know, Foster doesn't have his girlfriend pregnant does he....which is THE only reason Schell chose Pitt over Alabama.

      I have very little hope for Pitt with the Chryst hire....unless, his staff can recruit like He double l.

      If Pitt gets Foster, Johnson and Boyd it will be a miracle.

    6. Pitt has beat Ohio State for players before so it's hardly a miracle that it could happen again.

    7. I truly hope you're right Chris.

    8. Joe, just two days ago I talked to somebody who is VERY close to Foster and he said he thinks he will end up at Pitt. And this guy isn't even a Pitt fan. In fact, he said he wished he didn't go to Pitt because he went to WVU himself. But before anybody gets excited and starts going around saying it's a done deal, it's far from a done deal, especially with a kid as flaky as Foster. My only point is that Joe D needs better sources. And let me state this again. There is ZERO chance that Foster is going to Michigan and every time you say that you make people think you know even less than they are already think and from the complaints I get about you, they don't think you know much.

    9. Completely agree Chris. Joe D, your reason to be "confident" in your "pretty good" source is completely stupid. Who gives two shits about a track workout. Track in high school is the biggest joke. Track coaches are always so flexible when it comes to football players. Half the football players barely take track seriously and do it just to stay in shape. Anybody with a brain can tell you if the kid's work ethic is there for the track season. According to you, if somebody can recognize that, well then shit just call them the head recruiting expert of Scout, Rivals, and ESPN (obviously exaggerating to make a point).

      Joe, yes, some things you say are insightful, but then you go and fuck up your credibility with any tidbit of information you can use to fuel your anti-Pitt rants, even if you don't know if they are 100% credible. Save us all the trouble please.

    10. Moody, you probably don't get how PC recruits, and I will say that I probably don't know the entire strategy either. But I will tell you this; PC is getting himself in tight with every HS coach in the area that he can and building his reputation that way as far as recruiting, and what that will do is get him in with any kid he wants out of this area. It won't take a miracle to land Foster, Johnson and Boyd, PC is probably about 75% there already because of two main factors:

      One, Pitt doesn't have as much top end talent as the elite programs, so convincing a young kid to stay home and play for a coach that has developed plenty of kids for the NFL isn't that hard to do.

      Second, take a look at an SI article that states only 15 of the projected first round selections were 4-5 stars wunderkinds out of high school that went to the major programs. Kids aren't stupid, they're not going to schools where there are 2-3 kids with the same rating and skill set as them and expecting to be a star and get to the NFL. Wanny wasn't able to land kids like by accident.

      Also, Shell never even visited Alabama, yet his pregnant girlfriend is the only reason he chose Pitt over Bama? Seriously, try harder than that.

      Mike W.

    11. Mike W...
      Your comment about Shell is off 100%... it was because of pregnant gf.. Shell's mother said to reporters on at least 2 occassions she wanted her son to go to Alabama!! IF not for pregnant gf... no way Shell was going to PITT..
      Frankly, I'm glad to see Shell is finally working out at the gym.. 2 months or so.

    12. Mike W. - no, I guess I don't get how PC recruits.

      Hopefully, the recruits do.

      If you were a 5 star player and it came down to Pitt and Chryst or tOSU and Urban Meyer - really?

      It's great that Chryst wants to get close to the local HS coaches but like you said, kids these days are not dumb.

      100,000 plus every game at tOSU - all on TV with a coaching legend?

      Vs. playing in front of 25,000 and Paul Chryst - seriously?

      Like I said, if Urban Meyer wants Foster badly enough - Johnson and Boyd as well - he'll flat get them.

      I don't care if he has 3 five star players coming in at wideout - if he also wants over.

      I don't know who Chris was referring to when he said that Pitt beat OSU before.

      But, other than promising playing time, a big time recruit that has NFL aspirations will choose OSU over Pitt every single time.

    13. Because there's more to going to a school than home attendance figures. Pittsburgh has a heck of a lot more to offer than Columbus if you asked me - social, cultural, athletics, etc. The idea of training side by side with the Steelers. The idea of having opportunity to play earlier. The idea that Pitt also puts kids into the pros - Larry, Revis, Shady, etc. The idea that kids would rather see places on the Eastern Seaboard than West Lafayette or Bloomington, Indiana. A lot more goes into choosing a college than big crowds 7-8 times a year. Heck, just the campuses alone have a completely different feel. And Pitt will continue to beat OSU and other schools out for kids for those reasons. It's not really all that crazy. All Pitt needs is the right coach to bring even more kids in.

  14. Ohio State offered Rushel Shell, Tyrone Ezell, Juan Price, Jonathan Baldwin, Shayne Hale, Lucas Nix, Brandon Lindsey, LeSean McCoy, Nate Byham, Dorin Dickerson, McKenzie Mathews, Jason Pinkston, and even Ohio native Joe Thomas, and they all chose Pitt over Ohio State. And some of those players were also offered by Meyer at Florida.

    1. Chris - that's a great list of excellent players - just a question - why DID they choose Pitt over OSU and others?

      Just for the record, there is no bigger Pitt fan than me - I am looking at framed SI covers that I have of:

      "Pitt is It"
      Hugh Green - Baddest Cat in the Game

      Have a Pitt clock and my friends say all I have is a Pitt wardrobe.

      Our family had season tickets forever in section 9 at the old Pitt stadium - my car's North Carolina's license plate says: Pitt # 1.

      Had a front row seat at the Verizon center when we lost to Butler - Mrs. Moody and I almost cried. (StubHub was happy though)

      I have no agenda - maybe I have been beaten down the past several years and see very little hope and unfortunately from what I've seen so far from Chryst, I just don't have a lot of optimism.

      God knows I hope I'm wrong.