Class of 2007 Flexes its Muscles

Penn State's verbal commitments have lived up to the hype and then some this season. FOS staffer Scott Cole takes a player-by-player look at the athletes who have pledged to sign with the Nittany Lions in February.

Here is a glance at how Penn State's current verbal commitments have performed so far during their senior seasons.

OL Quinn Barham (Hillside HS, Durham, N.C.)

Barham's Hillside team is loaded with skill position talent including four-star athlete Greg Little. They currently sit at 3-2 and are riding a two-game losing streak. Barham has been instrumental in paving the way for the Hillside running game. In their first two contests, the Hillside offense racked up 459 total yards and 614 total yards.

In that second game, a 40-6 victory over Graham, Hillside had three rushers gain at least 90 yards and the team had three offensive touchdowns called back on penalties.

P Ryan Breen (Clarkston HS, Clarkston, Mich.)

Clarkston is 5-0 and ranked fifth in the Detroit Free Press Division I poll. Breen handles all of the kicking duties and he has been effective. In the opener, Breen made a 25-yard field goal and all four of his kickoffs went for a touchback.

Clarkston's most impressive win came in its third game against then-eighth ranked Farmington Hills Harrison. In the 28-14 victory, Breen made all four of his extra point attempts and drew a key roughing the punter penalty. His punting statistics were not available.

LB Chris Colasanti (Brother Rice HS, Bloomsfield, Mich.)

Brother Rice is 5-0 and is currently ranked third in the Detroit Free Press Super 10 and first in Division 2 following a 14-7 upset over Orchard St. Mary's, which was previously ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 21 nationally by Sports Illustrated.

Brother Rice has given up only 31 points in five games and Colasanti is the team's defensive leader and star. He is making plays all over the field and making it difficult for opposing offenses to get anything going. Colasanti began his senior season with a 10-tackle performance on defense and a rushing touchdown on offense in a 29-14 victory over Denby Tech.

He has played extraordinarily well the past two games, leading Brother Rice with nine tackles and 3.5 sacks in a 24-0 shutout of Novi Detroit Central Catholic and eight tackles in the win over Orchard St. Mary's.

LB Andrew Dailey (Massillon HS, Massillon, Ohio)

Dailey has played a huge role in Massillon's success on both sides of the ball this season. The team's record is 3-2, but it has faced stiff competition from some of Ohio's best as well as Hamilton High from Chandler, Arizona, in the Ohio vs. USA Challenge.

Dailey plays outside linebacker and wide receiver for Massillon and also returns kicks. Through five games, Dailey has 12 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns on offense. We weren't able to find complete defensive statistics, but Dailey made arguably the biggest play of the season when he intercepted a Hamilton pass and ran it back 20 yards for a touchdown to propel Massillon to a 35-26 victory over Hamilton, which came into the game ranked 11th nationally.

Following the win over Hamilton, Massillon linebackers coach Mike Babics talked about his star, saying “Andrew Dailey probably had his best game of the year. That interception he had for a touchdown was huge. He's going to make his plays, but it was the physicalness we're looking for out of him. When he hit No. 20 … I didn't notice it, but when he got up, he started to walk to our bench. And that's what we're looking for out of this position.”

TE/WR Jon Ditto (Gateway HS, Monroeville, Pa.)

It's been a transition year for Gateway, which thought it might have to use Ditto at quarterback this season following the departure of Aaron Smith. Instead, Coach Terry Smith has turned to freshman quarterback Rob Kalkstein, allowing Ditto to remain at wide receiver. He started off slow with two catches for 24 yards in a season-opening loss to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, but has picked up a head of steam over the past three games.

Ditto caught four passes for 75 yards and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass in a 38-32 loss to McKeesport, then caught two touchdowns in a blowout win over Baldwin. Last week, Ditto did his damage running the ball to the tune of six carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard jaunt, in a 37-14 win over Norwin.

CB Stephfon Green (John F. Kennedy HS, Bronx, N.Y.)

Green splits carries in the run-dominant JFK offense, but he has quickly established himself as a breakaway threat. He started off the season slowly with 10 carries for 36 yards in a 26-18 win over Tottenville but exploded in JFK's second game, against Abraham Lincoln.

Green rushed for an incredible 330 yards on just six carries and scored five touchdowns in an impressive 52-30 victory. Green's totals are even more incredible when you consider that 260 of the 330 yards and four of the five touchdowns came in the first half. In addition, Green shut down five-star wide receiver Lansford Watson.

After the game, JFK head coach Alex Vega said of Green, "He's the most explosive player in the city. And he's only going to get better."

It would have been impossible for Green to match his 330-yard effort the next week against New York City power Fort Hamilton, but he turned in another strong performance, gaining 138 yards on 19 carries and scoring twice in a 44-18 loss.

DE Kevion Latham (Page HS, Greensboro, N.C.)

Latham's team is currently 3-2, but we were unable to find any statistics for him.

OG Josh Marks (Southern Columbia HS, Catawissa, Pa.)

Southern Columbia entered the 2006 season ranked No. 1 in PIAA Class A, and it has done nothing to hurt that lofty ranking. The Tigers have yet to be challenged on their way to a 4-0 record. Behind Marks and Pitt commitment Henry Hynoski, Southern Columbia is running over, around and through the competition.

Marks helped pave the way for the Tigers to roll up 435 rushing yards in a season-opening 48-21 blowout of Shamokin, and that 27-point margin of victory is the Tigers' smallest of the season.

DB Chaz Powell (Susquehannock HS, Glen Rock, Pa.)

Powell's importance to Susquehannock was underscored when he was forced to miss his team's second game of the season with an ankle injury. The Warriors couldn't find the end zone in a 37-0 loss to South Western. With Powell in the lineup, Susquehannock is 3-0 and is averaging 33.7 points per game.

Powell tallied 56 yards on six carries in the first quarter of the season opener before going down with an ankle sprain that forced him to miss the rest of that game and the next contest as well. He returned to action in week three and rushed for 74 yards on 15 carries before exploding in a week four win over West York with 148 yards on 17 carries that included a 45-yard touchdown run. Powell also ran back a kickoff 86 yards for a score in that game.

LB Nathan Stupar (State College HS, State College, Pa.)

Stupar has been a dominant force on both sides of the ball, leading State College to an impressive 4-0 start and a No. 10 ranking in the Pennsylvania Football News' Class AAAA rankings.

On offense, Stupar has hauled in 13 passes for 185 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers would be even bigger if an 85-yard touchdown catch against Altoona had not been erased by a penalty that did not impact Stupar springing loose for the score. He has also carried the ball seven times for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Stupar has been the leader of a defense that has allowed only 24 points through four games, including back-to-back 42-0 shutouts of Cedar Cliff and Chambersburg to open the season. He has wreaked havoc at defensive end, tallying a sack in every game, including one for a safety against Altoona that sealed the Little Lions 23-17 victory.

That sack came on the ensuing drive after Stupar caught what became the game-winning touchdown pass with under a minute to play in the fourth quarter.

S/WR Nick Sukay (Greensburg Central Catholic HS, Greensburg, Pa.)

Greensburg Central Catholic is the top-ranked team in Class AA at 4-0. The Centurions have destroyed every opponent they have faced, mostly with a dominating rushing attack. Sukay plays wide receiver and safety in addition to returning kicks and punts.

Sukay bounced back from a fumble on the season's opening kickoff to catch a 16-yard touchdown pass from Syracuse commitment Cody Catalina and return a punt 53 yards for a score in Greensburg Central Catholic's 57-0 blowout of East Reynolds in week one.

Last week, he scored three touchdowns in three different ways during the first half of a 34-7 win over traditional power Washington. Sukay caught a 15-yard touchdown pass, ran for a 16-yard touchdown on an end around and returned a fumble 35 yards for a score.

TE/OT Andrew Szczerba (Salesianum HS, Wilmington, Del.)

Salesianum, the defending state champion, is picking up right where it left off in 2005. The team is 3-0 and ranked No. 1 in Delaware. Szczerba plays tight end and had a touchdown catch in his team's season-opening 48-14 win over Newark, a rematch of last season's state championship game.

Szczerba showed off his blocking skills in a week two 28-6 victory over William Penn, which saw Salesianum gain 337 yards on the ground. We were unable to find any more specific statistics on Szczerba.


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