Thursday, February 6, 2014

Top PA Prospects in 2015 Class (And Some Top 2016 PA Prospects, Too)

1. John Reid, St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia) CB- He's only 5'10 and 175 pounds, but his quickness, hips, closing speed, anticipation, and smarts are off the charts.  In a nutshell, he was born to be a shutdown corner. Has already put on a show for two years on the combine circuit and has an impressive offer list of Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, and Notre Dame, among many others. It's doubtful that Pitt will be a serious option.

2. Jordan Whitehead, Central Valley HS (Monaca) CB- When he was a sophomore and former teammate Robert Foster was a senior, it was common for local fans to say Whitehead was already better. It remains to be seen if he'll ever be as good, or better, than Foster, but there's definitely a chance.  He's not big at just 5'10" and 170 pounds, but he's fast, with excellent athleticism and quickness. Also a big time return man. Offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, and Tennessee, among others. As of now, I'd say it's a four school race between Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, and Ohio State.

3. Andre Robinson, Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg) RB- Yet another short player at 5'9", but he's a strongly built 205 pounds. Runs well between the tackles and has the strength to stiff arm defensive backs with ease. Very good speed and excellent quickness and vision. Also has good hands. Dynamite running back who could be a big star in college. Holds offers from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Boston College. Penn State may be a slight favorite but, like Ohio State, they are going to offer a lot of elite backs. Penn State may try hard to land him anyway, just to prove that they can. Pitt may have an outside chance but it's going to be hard to land a top running back in this class if James Conner and/or Chris James plays well.

4. Ryan Bates, Archbishop Carroll HS (Warminster) OT-  Already 6'5" and 285 pounds, and he has the frame to get much bigger.  Tenacious blocker that explodes into the defender.  Very quick with great feet. Sterling Jenkins gets all the publicity but right now Bates is the better player, and he has the potential to be an excellent college player. Early offers have come from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Virginia, South Carolina, Miami, Boston College, and Georgia Tech.  Penn State is the heavy favorite at this time.

5. Sterling Jenkins, Baldwin HS (Pittsburgh) OT- Very large at 6'8" and 305 pounds.  Obviously his wingspan is enormous which makes him an ideal left tackle candidate. Good feet.  Highly coveted because of his naturally size and quickness, but he hasn't performed up to that potential yet. National recruiting sites rate him higher than he should be at the moment, mostly because he performs well at combines.  But he hasn't been as good in games.  Major offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Ohio State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, and Tennessee.  Look for a four school race between Pitt, Penn State, Michigan, and Ohio State.

6. Saquon Barkley, Whitehall HS (Whitehall) RB- Solid build at 5'11" and 200 pounds. Good speed and even better quickness. Tough runner for a scatback type. Excellent vision.  Basically he's just very good at every facet. Could be very good good at the college level. Committed to Rutgers months ago but in the past month or so he's been more open to different suitors. With the Rutgers program struggling it would surprise nobody if he didn't end up there.  Pittsburgh, Penn State, North Carolina, and Syracuse has also offered.

7. Josh Adams, Central Bucks South HS (Warrington) RB/WR- As far as pure athletic ability he's  up there with Reid and Whitehead. At 6'2" and 198 pounds, he's long and lean, and he's fast with long, gliding strides. The problem right now, if you want to call it that, is that he may be too tall to play running back in college, and that's where he plays now. So can he project to wide receiver, or is he going to be a tall running back? That's the biggest question with him. He also tore his ACL late in the season so he's recovering from that. Offers have come from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Boston College, and Temple. I don't expect Pitt to be a major factor.

8. Jake Cooper, Archbishop Wood HS (Warminster) LB- A prototypical middle linebacker that can do it all. Already a rock solid 6'2" 230 pounds, Cooper is old school and new school all wrapped up into one excellent player. Excellent wrestler and like most high school wrestlers he's tough as hell. But he's also very athletic and moves well. Plays against the run and the pass equally well. Wonderful player and exactly what Pitt needs. Pittsburgh has offered as has Penn State, Northwestern, Virginia, Duke, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Rutgers. Pitt had a real chance at first, but now that Penn State has offered I think it won't be long before he commits to them.

9. Jay Stocker, Coatesville HS (Coatesville) S- Like big, pass catching tight ends that run like receivers, playmaking safeties are the hot thing in all levels of football. And this excellent player fits the bill. At 6'2" and 190 pounds, he is athletic and strong, which he uses to make plays all over the field like a heat seeking missile.  Offers include Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Rutgers. Could easily pick up bigger offers as the recruiting season goes on. I don't see Pitt as a major player at this time.

10. Ryan Buchholz, Great Valley HS (Malvern) DE- Already has NFL size at 6'6" and 235 pounds, and he combines that with tenacity, speed, and excellent football instincts. Could be a big time player.  Another player that Pitt desperately needs but Pitt hasn't offered for some reason. Penn State has, as has Northwestern, Boston College, Maryland, Virginia, Rutgers, and Duke. Like most on the list, I'd be surprised if he didn't end up at Penn State.



2016:
(alphabetical order)

Cary Angeline, Downingtown East HS (Exeter) WR/TE- Already 6'7" 210 pounds so needless to say he has intriguing possibility as a receiving possibility. Already holds Miami and Virginia offers.

Anthony Long, Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg) DT- Bull strong 6'3" and 292 pounds. A terror in the middle of the line and could be a national recruit. Has already started off with offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Purdue, and Temple.

Aaron Matthews, Clairton Area HS (Clairton) WR- The next great Clairton Bear, he's an excellent athlete at 6'5" and 175 pounds.  And he can fly.

Brandon McIlwain, Council Rock North HS (Newtown) QB- The most exciting quarterback in the state and he just completed his sophomore season. He's been an inaccurate passer thus far so he needs help with his delivery, but he's an athletic 6'1" 195 pounds, has a strong arm, and is a dynamic runner. May be a big timer.

Michal Menet, Exeter Township HS (Reading) OT- It's extremely rare that an offensive lineman who just completed his sophomore season is ranked among the top players in his class already, but the 6'5" 250 pounder already has an impressive offer list of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Michigan State, Virginia, and Rutgers.

Kaezon Pugh, Aliquippa HS (Aliquippa) LB- You can't have a list of great PA prospects without an Aliquippa player and like many Quips before him he has the looks of a star. Currently a 6'1" 195 pound running back but with his build it's expected that he could keep growing into a linebacker. But he's talented enough to play running back if he doesn't grow, and defensive line if he grows a lot. Cousin of Dravon Henry (who isn't?). Pittsburgh and West Virginia have offered and there will be many, many more.

Miles Sanders, Woodland Hills HS (Pittsburgh) RB- A big time player at a big time football factory. Already 6'0" and 180 pounds but he's still young and will likely gain more size. Game breaking speed, with topnotch athleticism and vision. Should be a national recruit. Pittsburgh and Michigan have already offered and Pitt should be a major contender.

Naseir Upshur, Imhotep Institue Charter School (Philadelphia) TE- Another football factory, this time on the eastern part of the state. Great size already at 6'4" and 235 pounds. Great pass catcher and a vicious blocker, the latter quite rare for any tight end prospect, let alone a high school sophomore. Arizona State, Temple, and Cincinnati have offered but there will be many more.

Kobay White, Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg) WR- The football factories in the eastern part and western parts of the states were represented, and now this is the second player for the football factory of the central part of the state. Stands at 6'0" and 180 pounds right now, and should grow more. Very good speed and athleticism. Already a star at a high level of competition.














33 comments:

  1. so 8 of the Top 10 from the east, as well as the majority of the others. Good timing for Franklin.

    Chris, what about Givens, LB from Altoona ... is he any good?

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    1. He's a good prospect. It would be good if Pitt got him.

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  2. Where would you rank Paulina and Bowers? What about Tipton and Gibson?

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    1. Not sure about Tipton yet. Paulina, Bowers, and Gibson are in the 12-20 range. All four would be good additions.

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  3. Chris,

    What are the chances Pitt lands Whitehead or Jenkins?

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    1. I don't think there's any real chance that he ends up at Pitt unless he falls out of favor with Penn State, Michigan, and Ohio State. There's a better chance with Whitehead, but to be honest, at this very moment, I wouldn't predict either to Pitt.

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  4. Not good that most of these guys are from the eastern part of the state. We haven't done real well there the past couple years. PSU seems to get the top guys from that area more than Pitt. More focus on out of state I guess.

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  5. Do you have a Top 10 2015 Wpial??
    Seems 2015 will be a down year for Wpial not only with elite talent but D1 talent.
    btw. I highly doubt Whitehead or Jenkins select Pitt.

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    Replies
    1. There's so little depth in the WPIAL this year, at the moment, that coming up with a top 10 would be hard. But there will be good prospects developing. There are always are.

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  6. No QBs worth mentioning for 2015? Hmm.

    PittofDreams

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    1. Kyle Shurmur and Brett Brumbaugh would both be nice additions, but hopefully one or the other as a developmental prospect with another more elite QB in the same class. Pitt has offered Shurmur, but not Brumbaugh. There is one nationally recognized QB from outside of PA that I think the Panthers can land. But I will write about that in the next week or so. I have two very thorough articles to write but those take time. The first will be about who the Panthers are looking at for '15. The other is about where Pitt stands with each unit in the future.

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    2. Come on Doke...give us a hint. What state is he from?

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    3. Any chance you're referring to James Morgan from Green Bay WI?

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  7. Prospect to keep an eye on; Stephon Hawthorne -Clark. WR/CB Woodland Hills

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    1. Yes, he's my lil brother dude! check his tape out on YouTube before trying to make fun of what I said. A few D1 schools are interested . So before he blows up PITT would be smart to look at him. He's very interested in PITT too

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    2. Well Steve,
      What level of D1?? He doesn't even have a profile on rivals so I doubt he is BCS D1 level let alone any other level of D1. There are 6 others from Woody that have a rivals profile.
      And according to PGonline 2013 stats, Stephon has NO receiving stats.
      I for one will not be "keeping an eye on" him.

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    3. He recently transferred to Woodland Hills. By him not having a "rivals profile " doesn't mean anything. But he does have receiving stats on Post Gazette . But whatever dude don't keep a eye on him. Please don't disrespect me like that again. Thanks

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    4. Steve never mind the trolls, good luck to your brother. I hope he does well for himself.

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    5. Thank you. I'm just trying to get my brother name out there.

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  8. Chris, any other options out there for QB for this year's class? Do you see Pitt going after anyone?

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  9. Looks like Engram accepted the Ravens job.

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  10. Ok so who is going to be the next WR coach? Will he be hired before spring camp????

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    1. I will put money and bet that there is a Wisky connection somewhere somehow.
      Engram was recommended by Geep Chryst to his brother.

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  11. 2015 will not be a good year for Pitt in the state of PA. They have already landed two good recruits, and I would be willing to bet they bring in Brumbaugh and a couple of others. Perhaps the twins out of Dubois will show some upside this season as I see them both coming to Pitt. As for the list above.
    Reid....PSU
    Whitehead...OSU
    Robinson...PSU or Pitt
    Bates...PSU
    Jenkins....Michigan
    Barkley....Rutgers
    Adams....PSU(could be a favor to Pitt if it pushes Robinson that way)
    Cooper...PSU
    Stocker...OSU
    Buckholtz....PSU

    Shurmur, Brumbaugh, Gibson, Givens, Tipton, Paulina, Bowers are all top 20 talent that have either committed, will commit or at least have a chance(Gibson and Givens are 50/50 at this point).

    If they pull a couple of dends out of MD, a couple of skill guys from NJ and a running back out of OH..... the recruiting class could end up being very strong despite PA being weak this year.

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    1. WVU is Whitehead's favorite

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  12. Nate Tice will move into a coaching position. That is already in the works.

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    1. I like Nate but considering he's about 24 years old that would be a suspect hire.

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    2. Any more suspect than House promotion?

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    3. Unfortunately if it's a suspect hire that only makes it more likely...

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  13. When the WPIAL is weak that's bad news for Pitt. Losing one of the best recruiters on the staff at the same time only makes it worse. More than half of this current class 14 I believe came from outside of PA so hopefully they're prepared for this year when they don't have the option of relying on local guys.

    Seems to me what we really need are QBs and defensive players. We have good young talent on the line, TE, WR and RB.

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  14. So I hope the staff has saved up their frequent flyer miles because theyre going to have to go out of state for the majority of this class

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