Sneak Peek II

<P>Our countdown of the Top 25 junior prospects in Pennsylvania continues (No. 20-No. 16).

20. WR/DB Terrance McCrae, 6-3/180/4.5, Connellsville Report: Honors and stats not available due to a coaching change. But McCrae is a very impressive athlete. He has a very good frame to be a top-flight wide receiver in college, he uses his size and body control to always put himself into position to make the catch. McCrae could also be a legitimate threat in the defensive backfield — he plays the pass well and has terrific instincts. By the end of next season everyone will know about McCrae.

The Skinny: West Virginia has been after McCrae as hard as anyone. He’ll likely hear from Pittsburgh, Penn State and others.

19. (Tie) QB/WR/DB, Aaron Smith, 6-0/180/4.4, Gateway

Honors: First-team WPIAL Quad-South West

Statistical Analysis: Smith completed 55 of 110 attempts for 1,188 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also ran 75 times for 510 yards and six touchdowns. Report: Very smooth and fluid athlete, he got better as his confidence grew throughout the season. If he grows a few inches he could play QB in the right system, but will likely project as a DB/WR at the next level. Smith was hidden most of the season, as all-everything Justin King was the main focal point of the Gateway offense.

The Skinny: Smith is hearing from Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Ohio State and Iowa. Penn State and Iowa are reportedly close to offering as an athlete. (Editor's note: The Lions and Pitt have since offered Smith).

19. (Tie) RB/LB, Justin Hargrove, 6-4/230/4.52, Baldwin

Statistical Analysis: Battled injuries all season but rushed for more than 600 yards. Report: Honors not available. Turned heads at Joe Butler’s Metro-Index Camp when he ran a 4.5. Hargrove has the potential to be one of the best athletes in the state. Has had some injury problems, needs to be more physical, but as he matures that will come. Will likely blossom into a solid DE/TE prospect.

The Skinny: Pittsburgh, Penn State and West Virginia are showing interest. Hargrove has taken in games at Pitt and WVU. The Panthers have offered.

18. DT Jason Kates, 6-2/324/5.3, Bishop McDevitt

Honors: Second-team Associated Press Class AAAA All-State, first-team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference, first-team All-Area.

Statistical Analysis: More than 50 tackles, six sacks and 10 tackles for losses. Report: Kates can be great, but he has some improvements to make. At the Elite College Combine he did not show very good lateral speed. After watching tape of Kates, it is apparent he must use his physical gifts and dominate consistently. There are a lot of physical improvements that can be made between now and next fall. If Kates puts forth the effort, he has a big upside. At times he shows he can be a solid run stopping DT.

The Skinny: Rumored to have offers, which may be possible. Is getting looks from USC, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State and Pittsburgh.

17. LB Jason Kolodziej, 6-1/230/4.7, Thomas Jefferson

Honors: Second-team Associated Press All-State, First-team All-Conference, Tribune-Review All-WPIAL Class AAA, Tribune-Review “Terrific 25,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette South “Fabulous 22.”

Statistical Analysis: Had 121 tackles, including 46 solos. Had three sacks and two fumble recoveries. Kolodziej tallied 13 tackles in the PIAA Class AAA state championship game. Report: Suffered a torn ACL as a sophomore, not a career-ending injury but one that may hinder him from being as highly recruited as he could be. Showed no ill effects from the injury as a junior. Kolodziej played well all season long. He is solid against the run and adequate in pass coverage. I like his motor. The kid goes 110 percent all game long.

The Skinny: Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Syracuse and Penn State have shown interest.

16. RB Travis McBride, 6-1/185/4.5, McKeesport

Honors: First-team All-WPIAL Quad South West, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette South “Fabulous 22.”

Statistical Analysis: Ran for 1,117 yards on 108 carries and scored 19 touchdowns. Report: McBride can be big time, he just needs to develop a little more physically. He has good vision and outstanding acceleration. He catches the ball out of the backfield and blocks well, which is an area where most high school backs are weak.

The Skinny: Has reportedly had been offered by Iowa. Is receiving interest from Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Virginia.


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