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Mt. Lebo star commits to Pitt

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 10:39 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Mt. Lebanon lineman Alex Bookser works out Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, in Mt. Lebanon.

Pitt continued to keep the best big men home Wednesday night when coach Paul Chryst received a verbal commitment from four-star Mt. Lebanon offensive lineman Alex Bookser.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Bookser plans to enroll next year. He will join Fox Chapel's Adam Bisnowaty, Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson and Bethel Park's Mike Grimm on the Panthers' offensive line.

Rivals.com and ESPN.com list Bookser as a four-star recruit. Rivals ranked him as the 25th-best offensive tackle in the nation and fourth-best player in state. ESPN.com ranked him as the 14th-best offensive tackle and 149th overall player in the nation and second-best player in the state.

Bookser made official visits to Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee, according to Rivals.com.

Mt. Lebanon coach Mike Melynk, who confirmed the news, said Bookser is the best offensive linemen he has coached in 26 years.

“No question,” he said. “Alex was a tremendous player for us the past two years. He was a game-changer. Anybody who started game-planning for us had to figure out what they were going to do with him. He played 48 minutes on both sides of the ball (including defensive tackle).”

Bookser is the 21st member of the Class of 2014 and the third four-star prospect to commit to Pitt. The other top-rated players, according to Rivals.com rankings, are Grimm and running back Chris James of Illinois.

Four-stars Montae Nicholson of Gateway and Shai McKenzie of Washington list Pitt among their final choices and will announce their plans Thursday and Friday.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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