Johnstown's best looks at Pitt

<b>Johnstown, PA -</b> One of the elite RB prospects of the class of 2004, LaRod Stephens of Greater Johnstown high school, was recently named to the Old Spice Red Zone Team. Stephens was a 1st Team Associated Press AAA All-State selection, 1st Team AAA PA Football News All-State, 1st Team Laurel Highlands Conference, and The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat offensive player of the Year.

LaRod Stephens is 5-8/165 and has been timed at 4.48. He's attracting early interest from Iowa, Penn State, and Indiana.

"Coach Bradley at Penn State sends me letters all the time."

Coach Bob Arcurio had this to say about his star RB, "LaRod is small in size, but the kid will lower the boom on you, He is very strong in his upper body. He's so elusive he never takes a solid hit. I don't know where our team would've been this season without him."

Coach Arcurio also said, "LaRod loves Pitt, but they have yet to make any contact with him." He couldn't understand why they haven't been after him, when the kid obviously wants to go there.

When I interviewed LaRod, I asked him if he was a Pitt fan. "Oh yeah," he responded. "My whole family loves Pitt, if Coach Harris offered I'd probably verbal right then."

But Stephens realizes that if he isn't offered by Pittsburgh he'll have to play somewhere else. And he wouldn't have any problem finding a suitor for his services.

"If Pitt offers me early, I'd verbal probably on the spot, but they haven't been in touch with me yet."

Stephens would like to stay in the area, but realizes if he doesn't get to play for his favorite team, he may have to go elsewhere.

"I dont really want to do that, but I have to do what I have to do."

Stephens rushed for 2,226 yards and 23 touchdowns this past season. He plans on attending several camps this summer and is looking at going to Walt Harris' Pitt camp and possibly a few others. LaRod is benching 235 pounds and is also an honor roll student. He plans on taking his SAT's this spring.

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