Gorman: WPIAL Class of '14 has plenty of talent
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For those dwelling on what a down year it was for recruiting in Western Pennsylvania in the Class of 2013, we have good news.
It wasn't as bad as it seems. And the next class is loaded.
There is much lamenting that only 19 WPIAL football players signed with Division I schools this year — possibly the lowest total ever — in a year that Pennsylvania produced 67.
Recruiting is cyclical, so the dips and increases in Division I signees are to be expected. MaxPreps.com reports Pennsylvania produced 93 D-I players in '12, 60 in '11 and 75 in '10.
But four WPIAL players were top-150 talents, and all but five signees went to BCS-affiliated conferences. If anything, it was a down year for Mid-American prospects.
“The cream of the crop of the 2013 class was very good with (Robert) Foster, (Tyler) Boyd, (Dorian) Johnson and (Patrick) Kugler. After that, it dipped down a little bit,” ESPN.com recruiting analyst Jared Shanker said. “This class is going to be equal in terms of the top guys separating themselves and being in the top 150 or 300, but there's going to be a bit more depth in this class, as well.”
In the Class of 2014, five players already have established themselves as elite prospects: Aliquippa running back-safety Dravon Henry, Washington tailback Shai McKenzie, Gateway receiver-safety Montae Nicholson and mammoth offensive tackles Alex Bookser of Mt. Lebanon and Mike Grimm of Bethel Park.
Henry should rank among the nation's top prospects.
“One of the best players I saw was Dravon, just based on pure athleticism,” Shanker said. “Whether he ends up at running back or defensive back, to me it looks like he's a star in the making. If I'm picking someone, I'm picking him at this point, but Montae is a great defensive back, and Shai is everything you want in a running back.”
At least 18 WPIAL juniors have scholarship offers, including Gateway receiver Ricky Rogers, a West Virginia recruit. There are another dozen D-I prospects, and it's only February.
“That's the trend. It's not just juniors anymore that are getting offered early. It's everybody, regardless of class,” Shanker said. “If they feel you project, they're not going to wait around to offer. The longer they wait, the more it could hurt them in the long run. To some kids, they might take that as disrespect if you offer them late.”
And some might take it as disrespect to suggest a decline in WPIAL talent.
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.
- Pirates sickened by pic of ‘Jihadi John’ wearing Bucs ball cap
- At Pitt, a chance to make early impression under Narduzzi
- Podiatrist, 6 others charged in prescription painkiller scheme
- Spring Hill woman sentenced to jail for stealing, euthanizing neighbor’s dog
- Man sentenced in meth smuggling scheme
- Charleroi man accused of improper sexual contact with teen
- Earl Lloyd, 1st black player in NBA, dies at 86
- Leonard Nimoy, world famous as Mr. Spock on ‘Star Trek’, dies
- Trade for Winnik gives Penguins competition among bottom six
- Lincoln tries to rejuvenate career in second stint with Pirates
- Rossi: Pirates better with Maz on scene