HSFB preview by position: Size isn't the only measure of LBs' talent
TribLIVE Sports Videos
North Allegheny's Layne Skundrich was the leading tackler on a Class AAAA state championship team, but Alabama won't be calling him.
West Allegheny's Armand Dellovade, who made 130 tackles while playing with a torn knee ligament, isn't projected as a major BCS recruit either.
But both are outstanding high school linebackers, among the most productive in the WPIAL or City League, even if they're listed as shorter than 6-foot.
“Because Armand's not 6-foot-2 and not 240, he's not covered with Division I offers,” West Allegheny coach Bob Palko said. “He's every bit as good as (2002 graduate) Manny Rojas (who starred at Liberty). Armand played the entire season last year with a torn PCL and didn't say a word. He's a tough, throwback kid. People can say what they want. He makes every tackle.”
Dellovade was the team's leading tackler as a freshman. But rather than Friday night performances, high school football players are increasingly critiqued at summer camps for Saturday afternoon measurables.
“That upsets me,” Palko said. “Armand's a kid that doesn't get the recognition that he should. He was born to be an inside linebacker.”
North Allegheny coach Art Walker says the same about Skundrich, a three-year starter and the leading tackler.
“He's a strong kid with a great nose for the ball,” Walker said. “He's really the heart and soul of that defense.”
They're unlikely to become All-American linebackers in Tuscaloosa, but both lifted trophies at Heinz Field.
1. Brett Zanotto
Franklin Regional, sr., 6-1, 215
The middle linebacker had 157 tackles last season with 27 tackles for a loss, earning him first-team all-conference honors in Class AAA. Zanotto also rushed for 649 yards and 11 touchdowns. He committed in June to Maryland over scholarship offers from Boston College, Syracuse and several others.
2. Kevin Givens
Altoona, sr., 6-2, 235
Givens committed to Pitt in February. The outside linebacker, had 59 tackles and seven sacks last season when he was named first-team all-conference in the Quad East. He also had five rushing touchdowns and a 25-yard fumble return for another score.
3. Armand Dellovade
West Allegheny, sr., 5-11, 215
Dellovade, an inside linebacker who also plays fullback, had 130 tackles last season and 107 the year before with six sacks combined. Both years West Allegheny won the WPIAL Class AAA title. He had 11 tackles in the championship last season and earned first-team all-conference.
4. Layne Skundrich
North Allegheny, sr., 5-10, 200
Skundrich, a starter for North Allegheny's state championship in 2012, led the team in tackles as a sophomore and junior. He had 97 tackles last season and 96 the year before. Combined, the Class AAAA first-team all-conference pick had 27 tackles for a loss and nine sacks.
5. Tim Nickel
Shaler, sr., 6-0, 210
The middle linebacker had 137 tackles in just nine games last season. He was named first-team all-conference in the Quad North. Nickel also rushed for 386 yards and two touchdowns. He's received an FCS scholarship offer from St. Francis (Pa.).
One to watch: Logan Thimons
Freeport, jr., 6-1, 210
Thimons was offered a West Virginia scholarship after attending a camp there this summer and quickly committed. He was an all-conference defensive lineman last season with 97 tackles and six forced fumbles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Central Valley, New Castle face WPIAL hearing over fight before football game
- Gorman: So much for sportsmanship
- HS highlight reel: Boys golf teams to play for finals berth
- Keystone Oaks football controls its destiny entering final weeks
- Pine-Richland stays comfortable at the top
- Bentworth’s Tush Player of the Week
- Safety, late TD not enough for Fox Chapel
- Shady Side Academy looks to rebound after loss to Apollo-Ridge
- PIAA votes to expand classifications in football, other sports
- After another slow start, Greensburg Central Catholic defeats Leechburg
- WPIAL hands out suspensions for Wilkinsburg-Monessen fight