Stars Shine in Scout Steel City Combine

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — wrapped up its first combine of the year on Saturday at the University of Pittsburgh. Participants from six different states and the District of Columbia were among the 206 athletes onhand. Throughout the day we saw the expected stars, a few breakout sophomores and several unexpected standouts.

As was to be expected, stars like Pat Bostick (Manheim Township, Pa.), Nick Sukay (Greensburg, Pa.), Toney Clemons (Valley, Pa.), Henry Hynoski (Southern Columbia, Pa.), Tony Tucker (Washington, D.C.) and Chris Jacobson (Keystone Oaks, Pa.) all stood out during the different phases of the combine.

West Allegheny head coach Bob Palko and Johnstown assistant Brian Wright were coaching the quarterbacks. Bostick and a few others caught watchful eye.

"I was impressed with Bostick," Palko said. "Matt Rodgers (Seton La Salle, Pa.) and Cody Catalina (Greensburg, Pa.) also looked pretty good. Those guys all do a number of things well."

Hynoski looks like everything we thought he was prior to the combine. For a big running back he moves very wel and is an exceptional receiver. Most recruiting fans did not believe the listed height and weight for the Southern Columbia star, but he checked in again at 6-foot-2.5, 244 pounds.

Donte Harden of Strong Vincent High in Erie, Pa., also looked very good. He was in the top 10 in a number of testing categories. Harden checked in at 6-0.5 and 177 pounds and was timed at 4.69 in the 40-yard dash. Harden didn't stop there; he also posted a 7.10 in the 3-cone, a 41.5-inch vertical, a 10-foot standing broad jump and 4.14 shuttle. Two more Pennsylvania running backs tested very well: Richie Walls (Downingtown East) measured in at 6-0 and weighed 171 pounds. Walls posted a 4.47 40-yard dash time. Andrew Cope of Danville High, 5-11 and 178 pounds, ran a 4.53 40-yard dash. He then followed that up with a 4.29 shuttle, 37.5-inch vertical, 7.06 3-cone, and a 9-1 standing broad jump.

Sukay and Toney Clemons, as expected, stood out among the wide receivers. But they weren't alone. Gateway head coach and former Penn State wide receiver Terry Smith gave us a breakdown of what he saw.

Nick Sukay.

"Clemons was the best of the bunch; when a defensive back gives you a cushion, the good ones you can always tell will eat that up and he does. He is just a great athlete, he's not a polished receiver, but his natural ability is off the charts," Smith said. "Sukay was very good, the kid is so competitive. Michael Rainey-Wiles is another kid who made a lot of plays out there. Tim Cortazzo is another; you can tell he is a coach's son, he just does everything right."

Brentwood's Da'Von Moore, 6-0 and 195 pounds, ran a 4.40 40-yard dash, 4.34 shuttle, and posted a 35-inch vertical. Derek Drummond of Penn Hills was the top tight end in attendance. He checked in a little undersized at 6-4, 205 pounds, but he ran a 4.69 40-yard dash.

Among the offensive linemen it was fairly easy to pick out the top dog in Keystone Oaks standout and Pittsburgh commitment Chris Jacobson. Jacobson checked in at 6-3.5 and weighed 291 pounds. He ran a 5.4 40-yard dash, 4.65 shuttle, and he recorded an 8-2 standing broad jump.

Jacobson did not only impress the representatives, he impressed Thomas Jefferson head coach Bill Cherpak, who was working with the group.

"It was not really close, Jacobson just dominated everyone," Cherpak said. "(Gino) Gradkowski didn't look bad, and the big red-headed kid from Latrobe (Paul Simkovich) was pretty impressive."

A pair of Ohio natives, Dan Barry (Lake Catholic) and Shawn Sailor (Maple Heights), were impressive during the one-on-one segment of the combine. Barry followed up his strong showing at January's U.S. Army All-American Combine with another very good showing. Sailor, 6-7 and 300 pounds, has an impressive frame and very good feet. He showed that he has some things to work on, but has unlimited potential.

On the defensive side of the ball there were several stars, including along the defensive line. Tucker, from St. John's College High in Washington, D.C., had another impressive performance in front of the eyes of Rucker had an outstanding U.S. Army Combine as well. At 6-2, 225 pounds, Tucker could play that rush end or outside linebacker position. The surprise of the day on the defensive line had to be Michael Goosby of Penn Hills High in Pittsburgh. At 6-2, 230 pounds, Goosby was a force in the one-on-ones. He showed outstanding burst and explosion off the edge.

Three defensive tackles who may not possess ideal size but they do everything you want out of a player at that position are Eduardo Sota from West Mifflin, Pa., Ismaa'ily Kitchen Cardinal Mooney (Youngstown, Ohio.), and Debo Elias from St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio). An underclassman to keep an eye on is Justin Brown from Ursuline in Youngstown, Ohio. He was a force all day.

At linebacker Tariq Taylor (Rochester, Pa.) and Aaron Williams (Penn Hills, Pa.), although undersized at less than 200 pounds, both impressed in pass coverage and during drills.

There were a number of solid defensive backs in attendance including Jordan Mabin (Nordonia, Ohio), who stood out at the U.S. Army Combine in January. He may have looked even better in Pittsburgh. Mabin ran a 4.44 40-yard dash, 4.16 shuttle, and a 6.97 3-cone. Mabin also recorded a 35.5-inch vertical jump.

Jordan Mabin.

Max Suter of Greensburg Central Catholic High may have been the biggest surprise among the defensive backs. Suter covered receivers like a glove and he ran an impressive 4.50 40-yard dash. He also impressed our defensive backs coach, Donald Cox of Tri-County high in Atlanta, Ga.

"I would take that kid (Suter) on my team any day of the week, that boy just doesn't quit," Coach Cox said.

Another pair of relatively unknown commodities, Andre Freeman and Eric Taylor of Penn Hills, both tested well and looked very good during the other phases of the combine. Taylor projects as a safety, even though he will be the Indians' quarterback this season. Another late registrant who showed he belonged was Michael Battles. The Moon Area standout measured in at 5-6, but he was very good in coverage all day. Diauntae Morrow St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) just continues to impress; he is another player who had a solid combine in San Antonio and in Pittsburgh.

The basis of a combine is testing, so we have to mention two players who tested lights out. Dom DeCicco of Thomas Jefferson High and sophomore A.J. Alexander of Altoona. DeCicco, we expected to do well since this was his second time at a combine. He attended last year's combine in Akron. DeCicco checked in at 6-3.5 and weighed 194 pounds. He ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, 3.98 shuttle and a 6.50 3-cone. He also posted a 39-vertical and a 9-foot-9 standing broad jump.

Alexander was the talk of the day. We knew he was fast by his track times and his films, but nothing could prepare us for what we saw on Saturday when the sophomore ran a 4.31 40-yard dash, 4.13 shuttle and a 6.88 3-cone. He also posted a 42.5-inch vertical and a 9-foot-9 standing broad jump.

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