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Prospect watch: OLSH's Isiah Neely

About Kevin Gorman
Picture Kevin Gorman 412-320-7812
Sports Columnist
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Kevin Gorman is a sports writer for the Tribune-Review.
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By Kevin Gorman

Published: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, 11:38 p.m.


5-foot-8, 175 pounds, RB, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Isiah Neely was looking forward to going to see Pitt play Gardner-Webb on Saturday, given his family connections to both.

Neely grew up a Panthers fan while rooting for his cousin, former Pitt All-America tight end Dorin Dickerson. Another cousin, Ron Dickerson Jr., is Gardner-Webb's coach.

Neely had to cancel those plans when he suffered a sprained ankle Friday night at Sto-Rox, one that sidelined him for the second half and necessitated an X-ray. Still, his week wasn't all bad. Neely received his first scholarship offer Thursday from Robert Morris.

“That felt good,” he said. “Hopefully, more will come.”

One of the most productive rushers in Western Pennsylvania, Neely surpassed the 3,000-yard mark after rushing for 708 yards as a sophomore and 1,557 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior.

“He's quick and can dart outside,” Metro Index scouting director Joe Butler said. “He's a talented guy, but the level of competition scares people.”

Despite playing in WPIAL Class A, Neely has attracted interest from FBSprograms like Pitt, Akron, Kent State and Wisconsin to FCS schools Duquesne, RMU and Villanova.

“I was hoping a big senior season might open eyes,” Neely said.

Neely got off to a good start, with a 310-yard, five-TD game against Western Beaver two weeks ago. The injury against Sto-Rox proved a setback, but Neely remains optimistic.

“I would prefer a scholarship if that school fits me, but I have to do what I have to do,” Neely said. “Everyone has been recruiting me as a running back. I think I'm a finesse and a power back. I can lower my shoulder and run through people or make moves and get upfield. I play cornerback and return punts and kicks and play in the slot, too, so I'm pretty versatile.”




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