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High school notebook: Central Catholic's Cosentino commits to Florida State

Kevin Gorman
| Monday, March 18, 2013, 3:51 p.m.
Central Catholic quarterback J.J. Cosentino has made a verbal commitment to play at Florida State.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Central Catholic quarterback J.J. Cosentino has made a verbal commitment to play at Florida State.

Central Catholic junior quarterback J.J. Cosentino has verbally committed to Florida State.

A 6-foot-4, 218-pounder who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds, Cosentino passed for 552 yards and three touchdowns last season, after winning the starting job in Week 3. He played at Kiski Area as a freshman but missed most of his sophomore season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament before transferring to Central.

“It's a perfect fit in every way,” he said. “I really like it down there a lot. It's more than football down there. It felt like a family. I have ties down there with coach Sal (Sunseri) and Bob LaCivita (director of player personnel). ...

“It's an honor for Coach (Jimbo) Fisher to want me to play quarterback for him, given his history.”

South Florida offered last week, and Cosentino also had an offer from Akron.

“I think the time was right. I didn't want them to think I was losing interest in them,” he said. “We've developed a good relationship. Now, I can focus on winning a championship at Central and being the best quarterback I can be.”

Cosentino is the third WPIAL player from the Class of 2014 to commit to a Division I school.

Gateway receiver Ricky Rogers committed to West Virginia in November, and Blackhawk QB Chandler Kincade committed to Pitt as a sophomore.

“It's really exciting. As a kid, you always dream of playing somewhere big,” Cosentino said. “I never imagined that it would be at Florida State, in that big stadium with the fans doing the Seminole Chop. I'm going to go there and try to become the best quarterback I can and try to lead them to a national championship.”

Northgate hires coach

Former Aliquippa and California (Pa.) University quarterback Brandon LeDonne is the new head coach for the Northgate football team, replacing T.J. Wiley, who took the same position at Deer Lakes after coaching the Flames the past two seasons.

LeDonne, 32, played and later served as an assistant coach for Aliquippa's Mike Zmijanac and also was an assistant coach for Quaker Valley and Moon, where he was the offensive coordinator the past two seasons.

“My initial goal is just to do things right. They were 5-4 last year. You look at the scores, they lost three or four one-point games where they could have been conference champs,” LeDonne said. “(I want) to get the kids disciplined, which I'm sure they are, pick up what Coach Wiley did there, build a solid foundation and tradition.

“They have a nice dynamic of kids. It's a little edgy neck of the woods, but that's a good thing when you are trying to build a football program.”

LeDonne and his staff started an offseason conditioning program Monday and are planning to attend a few 7-on-7 camps this summer.

“We're organized, we've got a plan, we've got some good assistant coaches,” he said. “I'm real passionate about this stuff. We've got a chance. I know that. We've got some good people involved, and I've heard good things about the players. That's all you can ask for.”

WPIAL teams still with a vacancy include California, Canon-McMillan, Gateway, Hollidaysburg and Seton-La Salle.

California athletic director Phil Pergola and Seton-La Salle AD John Ashaolu said their openings could be filled this week.

Henry staying local?

Aliquippa junior Dravon Henry, a 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back and running back, narrowed his college choices to a top four Monday night. He posted on Twitter a group that includes Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Ohio State. Henry is considered a 4-star recruit in the Class of 2014 by

Henry rushed for 1,857 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Quips last year and has 3,357 yards and 48 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter.

Bill Hartlep contributed. Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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