Wiz Focused on Playoffs

In the middle of a strong playoff run, WPIAL star lineman Stefen Wisniewski has put his big decision on hold. Penn State and Boston College are still the leaders, but there is no definitive timetable on when he will make his annoucement.

Pittsburgh Central Catholic faces Penn Hills in the semifinals of the WPIAL AAAA playoffs at West Mifflin this weekend. And Stefen Wisniewski, a star lineman for the Vikings, is completely focused on the big game. Recruiting, for now, is taking a back seat.

“He's not going to deal with anything [recruiting-wise] for a few weeks,” said Leo Wisniewski, Stefen's father. “He felt kind of stressed out about making the decision. So now his focus is on trying to help the Vikings get to the [WPIAL] final at Heinz Field.

“He can make the decision after the season is over,” Leo added.

A U.S. Army All-American who is rated as the nation's No. 5 guard prospect by Scout.com, the younger Wisniewski has narrowed his list to Penn State and Boston College, according to his father. The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder visited the Eagles in mid September and the Nittany Lions in late October.

Leo Wisniewski was a standout defensive lineman for Penn State in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and went on to a solid pro career with the Baltimore and Indianapolis Colts. Leo's younger brother, Steve, was an All-American offensive lineman for Joe Paterno in the mid-1980s and enjoyed an outstanding career with the Oakland Raiders.

As such, many folks are simply assuming Stefen will follow the same path. And that is not necessarily so, according to his father.

“There is some added pressure that way,” he said. “But I told him it's got to be his decision. He has [his parents'] blessing wherever he goes.”

North Carolina, with new coach Butch Davis, is trying to work its way back into the Wisniewski sweepstakes. But Leo is not sure Stefen will want to add another factor into what is already shaping up as a difficult decision.

Though Stefen has decided to make his decision after the high school football season is complete, he is not sure exactly when the announcement will happen. According to Leo, there is some thought to waiting until the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 6 in San Antonio.

“He has said I might wait and pick at that game,” Leo reported.

If he does it earlier, do not expect any kind of formal press conference for the announcement. Stefen, Leo said, is not the kind of athlete who wants to draw attention to himself.

Which is another reason he is trying to low-key the recruiting angle during the Vikings' playoff run. A win this week and they will face Upper St. Clair or North Allegheny at Heinz Field the following week. A win there and they advance in the PIAA playoffs.

With so much on the line, the big decision will have to wait.

“Everything is going well,” Leo said. “He doesn't want any distractions.”


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