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Approximately 225 players, insluding many Penn State targets, will attend the Scout.com All-American Combine at the University of Pittsburgh's Southside Practice Facility. The event will feature a number of highly touted prospects from the classes of 2007 and 2008. The combine will be attended by players from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, among others.
Athletes will be tested in the 40-yard dash, 3-cone, shuttle, vertical, and the standing broad jump. They will then break into groups where they will be under the tutelage of an elite group of local coaches including West Allegheny head coach Bob Palko, Thomas Jefferson head coach and former Pitt Panther Bill Cherpak, Gateway head coach and former Penn State Nittany Lion Terry Smith and Johnstown offensive coordinator Brian Wright. The grand finale will be an hour of one-on-one testing where the proverbial men are separated from the boys. Here's a look at some of the prospects who are expected to be on hand Saturday.
A solid local contingent will also be in attendance including Cody Catalina (Greensburg), Cody Endres (Washington), Matt Rodgers (Pittsburgh), Nick Monteleone (Butler) and Travis Rearick (Sidman). A handful of Ohio signal callers will be competing, as well, including Charles Baab (Alliance), Lukas George (Warren), and Anthony Wright (Maple Heights)
The state's top running back prospect, Henry Hynoski (Catawissa), will lead a talented group. Hynoski has received offers from Pittsburgh and Rutgers. The rest of this solid group includes Frank Edmonds (Lakewood, Ohio), Dan Herron (Warren, Ohio), Donte Harden (Erie, Pa.), Daniel Herron (Warren, Ohio), Scott Jones (Connellsville, Pa.), Kevin Beichler (Smithville, Ohio), Marcel Farrish (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Jaron Whitner (Sto-Rox, Pa.) and Mark Wooldridge (Akron, Ohio)
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Any quarterback would salivate at the chance to throw to this group, which will include several of the state's best pass-catchers including prized targets Toney Clemons (New Kensington) and Nick Sukay (Greensburg).
Several other top prospects will be out to prove that they belong including, Derek Moye (Rochester, Pa.), Maurice Williams (Erie, Pa.), Tim Cortazzo (Irwin, Pa.), Ty Bynum (Lancaster, Pa.) and Fitzgerald Bobo (Duquesne, Pa.).
The tight ends are not long on numbers, but they more than make up for it in talent, led by Jon Ditto (Gateway, Pa.), who holds offers from Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Rutgers and Akron. Kyle Hubbard (Lakewood, Ohio), Chris Drager (Jefferson Hills, Pa.), Leonard Smith (Connellsville, Pa.), Derek Drummond (Penn Hills, Pa.) and Ryan Zarnich (Rochester, Pa.) are all potential D-I scholarship athletes.
Where's the beef, you ask? On Saturday it will be in Pittsburgh as a very solid group of offensive linemen will in action, including Matt Ostrowski (Natrona Heights, Pa.), Donny Barclay (Cranberry Township, Pa.), Zac Kasparek (New Brighton, Pa.), Jake Anderson (Erie, Pa.), Mike Dykes (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Cory Pigg (Middletown, Ohio), Paul Simkovich (Latrobe, Pa.), Derek Brown (Harrisburg, Pa.), Dan Barry (Mentor, Ohio), as well as a group of three very solid guards who are among the best in the state Chris Jacobson (Pittsburgh, who has already committed to the University of Pittsburgh), Gino Gradkowski (Pittsburgh, who holds offers from Pittsburgh, Toledo and West Virginia), and Evan Blankenship (Monaca, who has been offered by Ohio State and Pittsburgh).
A pair of pass-rush specialist will headline this group led by Joe Rash (Penn Hills, Pa.) and Tony Tucker (Washington, D.C.). Tucker was recently offered by Boston College. Local product Cameron Holland (Pittsburgh) and Debo Elias (Lakewood, Ohio) are among the talented defensive tackles who will be participating.
The bulk of the talent at linebacker will be from the class of 2008, but a few seniors who could impress will be Devan Johnson (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Aaron Williams (Pittsburgh, Pa.), John McCauley (Springdale, Pa.), and Tariq Taylor, who attended Rochester but recently transferred to (Aliquippa, Pa.).
What's best to counter an all-star group of wide receivers? An equally impressive group of defensive backs, of course. Ohio State commitment Nate Oliver (Lakewood, Ohio) will be out to show he is one of the top safeties in the country.
Tony Jackson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Dom DeCicco (Jefferson Hills, Pa.), are another pair of talented safeties who are fresh off of strong performances at the U.S. Army All-American Junior Combine in San Antonio, Texas. A solid group of corners will be led by Jordan Mabin (Nordonia, Ohio) and Jared Williams (Pittsburgh, Pa.), both of whom received offers from Pittsburgh last weekend. Other talented prospects to keep an eye on include Brandon Watters (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Lamont Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Leroy George (Clairton, Pa.), Anthony Bailey (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Diauntae Morrow (Lakewood, Ohio), and Delante Armstrong (Washington, D.C.)
Class of 2008
You could travel to combines all spring and be hard pressed to find a group of juniors-to-be like the group that will be in Pittsburgh. Among the talented roster of 2008 grads are Lucas Nix (Jefferson Hills, Pa.), Shayne Hale (Monroeville, Pa.), Cameron Saddler (Monroeville, Pa.), Ashton Burno (Susquehanna, Pa.), Justin Staples (Lakewood, Pa.), Mike Spooner (Lakewood, Pa.), Brandon Beachum (Youngstown, Ohio), David Posluszny (Aliquippa, Pa.), A.J. Alexander (Altoona, Pa.), Alphonso Lewis (Altoona, Pa.), Leon Green (West Mifflin, Pa.), Ryan Revtai (Imperial, Pa.), Zaire Washington (Clairton, Pa.) and Tyler Porco (MacMurray, Pa.)