Friday, September 5, 2014

Top 10 PA Players in the 2016 Class

It's no longer too early to talk about underclassmen since so many now commit early. With recruiting more aggressive than ever, schools around the country now try to wrap up kids before their junior season is over. And I wouldn't be surprised if half this list commits in that timeframe.

1. Miles Sanders, Woodland Hills HS (Pittsburgh) RB- There haven't been a lot of big time running backs coming out of the WPIAL over the past decade or so, but Sanders is the real deal. A solid 5'10" and 195 pounds with great vision, speed, quickness, and pass catching ability. In other words, he's the complete package. Already committed to PENN STATE over a group of offers that included Pittsburgh, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, and Virginia Tech. If he didn't already commit before his junior season started, he would have had a lot more major offers.

2. Michal Menet, Exeter Township HS (Reading) OT- First of all, his first name is not a typo, that's how he spells it.  Secondly, what a good young lineman. It's rare for a sophomore in high school to get major offers because they generally take a lot longer to develop, but Menet is a special player. He's only 6'5" 250 now so obviously he'll need to put on about 50 pounds over the next two years. But everything else is there from the strong frame and quick feet, to the toughness and technique. He's from Penn State country so you have to assume they're the leader, but other early offers have come from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

3. Naseir Upshur, Imhotep Institute Charter HS (Philadelphia) TE- A few months ago I thought I found a sleeper.  Now he's one of the most offered sophomores in the country. He's a solidly built 6'3" and 235 pounds already, and he has all the tools to be a top tight end, especially his vicious blocking skills, a rarity for such a young tight end. As an added bonus, if he doesn't work out at tight end, he could be an excellent defensive end. Many major offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

4. Brandon McIlwain, Council Rock North HS (Newtown) QB- You know it's a loaded year when this kid is No. 4 in the state. Not big at 6'0" 205, and he has to work on his passing skills, but he's an off the charts athlete with a cannon for an arm and blazing speed. His many offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, Tennessee, North Carolina, and UCLA.

5. Aaron Matthews, Clairton Area HS (Clairton) WR- Kids from this Class A powerhouse get under recruited and those that missed the boat on former teammate Tyler Boyd may miss this boat on this special player, too. At 6'5" and 190 pounds, he's already a great target. The fact that he will only get bigger and has great speed, athleticism, jumping ability, and hands makes him even more exciting. His two big offers right now are Pittsburgh and West Virginia with the rest of the country asleep at the wheel.

6. Damar Hamlin, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) CB/S- Great length if he sticks at corner at 6'1" and 180 pounds. Has good speed and cover ability but may be better off at safety over time. Either way he has the ability to be a big time player. Early offers so far include Pittsburgh, Penn State, and Ohio State.

7. Cary Angeline, Downingtown East HS (Exeter) TE- Basically a tall (very tall) wide receiver right now at 6'7" and 235 pounds. He has no inline blocking skills to speak of so that's something he will need to develop, but as a pass catcher he looks enormous with his long wingspan. He also is a good athlete that runs well, and has excellent hands. Pitt curiously hasn't offered him, but many others have including Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Miami, Northwestern Virginia, and North Carolina.

8. Kaezon Pugh, Aliquippa HS (Aliquippa) RB/LB- Maybe the most intriguing player in the class because is he a running back, a linebacker, or could he end up on the defensive line eventually? Right now he's 6'2" and 205 pounds, but his physique looks like he could get bigger. Already a bull and a superb athlete, he's pure raw talent right now. Will he explode into greatness? That's the question. Many Quips do. Right now Pittsburgh and West Virginia are his offers.

9. Khaleke Hudson, McKeesport Area HS (McKeesport) S/LB- Part safety, part linebacker, all football player. A solid 6'0" 205 pounds now, and how big he gets will likely determine where he plays. Either way he is one of the hardest hitters in the state and he has very good athleticism as well. Bottom line, he's a really good player and one of my favorites.  Biggest early offers thus far are Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

10. Anthony Long, Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg) DT- Big 6'3" 295 pound defensive lineman that can move like this kid are highly coveted. That's why his early offer list includes Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia Tech.

26 comments:

  1. Pugh is a Linebacker.
    His DC wants to make him a Safety for college but LB is the best position for him. No way he is a DLine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pitt is looking at him at RB right now. And if he gets a growth spurt and gets to 6'3" 225 before getting to college somebody may look at him as a future DE who can get to 245 pounds.

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    2. Pitt did that to Lindsey and Quip coaching staff learned from that.
      Won't happen again.
      He could be another Puz as LB.

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    3. I've always preferred Pugh at LB, too, especially since Pitt is in desperate need for a big time LB. But they've been looking at him at RB. There's still plenty of time to change, though. I do think he will eventually end up at Pitt.

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    4. @ Anon 11:59

      What do you mean, "Pitt did that to Lindsey?" DW put him in the best position for him & he thrived. He stunk @ LB.

      Delete
    5. The question on Pugh is...

      will he make the grades?

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    6. Anony 4:58.
      You obviously need a history lesson on Lindsey but you are incorrect with your statement.

      Delete
  2. As a Woody High alum. It tears my heart out that Miles chose PSU. I dont think any prior WH guys chose PSU ever. I maybe missing someone, but I think he's the 1st. Definitely the 1st skill player

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  3. Pugh is a Running Back.

    Doesn't jump off the screen quite much as Conner in his High School highlights. But just as evident that he is at his best carrying the football.

    PittofDreams

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  4. Very little complaints these days about Pitt "just offering".

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    Replies
    1. That drum you beat has got to be really worn out.

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  5. And McIlwain is a Quarterback. A very good... POTENTIALLY GREAT Dual-Threat Quarterback at the next level and the one after.

    How much fun would it be to seem him in a PITT uniform? However, don't see it happening.

    Too bad.

    PittofDreams

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  6. Brian Borgoyn also made the same mistake as Miles. In Brian's defense he was really into hunting, fishing and cowtipping.

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  7. Unlike '15 when it is heavily tilted towards the eastern part of the state, this year it is evenly distributed between east and west. I have been a little disappointed with Pitt's recent recruiting of local top prospects, and it looks like a good year to pick it up a bit.

    bill

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  8. I knew there was at least one lineman that went there. I thought another OL Dave Bonda did too. But he didnt play too much, if at all

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  9. Looks from the list that West Virginia's recruiting strategy is, if Pitt offers, so too will we. :)

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  10. Hi Doke,

    Great work, per usual.

    Question: Who (if anyone) is Pitt's rainmaker (i.e., star recruiter) right now? Do we have one?

    I still feel -- and hope I'm wrong -- that if Chryst & Company fails, it'll be because of their lack of a sense of urgency about recruiting. At best, it's not their strong suit. Maybe HCPC gets it, maybe not, I really hope so. I'd sure love to see some signs that he does...

    Thanks!
    H2P

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  11. Rudolph is the closest thing they have to an ace recruiter and he specializes more in under the radar types. They really have no coach that can land big timers consistently at the moment.

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    Replies
    1. Any reason Sal sunseri isn't Pitt's D coordinator & "ace" recruiter? His family has been around here forever, not to mention his pedigree. Burnt bridges? Chryst doesn't know him? Like 99% of alums, he hates pedersen? Off the subject, I would love to see Mark May as Pitt's next AD...

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    2. You'll never see Sunseri at Pitt as an assistant or HC for that matter. May as AD is intriguing.

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  12. Regarding Pitt's D, SOS. BC made their first drive look soooo easy.

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  13. Pitt D couldn't contain at the beginning of the game and it cost them. The d bounced back and played with passion. The backers and d line performed to expectations.

    Offensively, the OL leaned on BC for too long. Worked out well for Conner but he can't keep up this pace. James and Ibrahim need touches. Did we only have one turnover (interception)? I don't think we fumbled.

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  14. Here's hoping for some good recruits. But I agree with a previous Dokish comment-it's interesting the Christ hasn't yet landed a "bigger fish" in the qb arena given that qb coaching is his reputed area of expertise.

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  15. It's extremely encouraging to finally see multiple top PA recruits who project on defense, that really hasn't happened in a long time. Last year we had 2 defensive players in that was an anomaly. Personally, I'm surprised Long is as far down your list as he is and if I could choose only one player on this list to choose Pitt, he'd be the one.

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  16. Does Pitt get any of these kids?

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  17. Doke, who are your next 5 WPIAL guys? Are there any solid QB prospects outside of mcwallwan?

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