Pennsylvania Top 50

The following is our first PA Top 50 of the recruiting season. It will change often as the players' stocks rise and fall.

Justin King (6-0,180) Gateway HS, Monroeville- CB- Blazing 4.29 speed, but also very tough and physical. Very explosive with the ball in his hands and a great cover corner. Stepson of former Penn State WR Terry Smith, who is also his coach. Currently has over 32 offers with Michigan, Penn State, and USC leading.

Callahan Bright (6-4, 320) Harriton HS, Bryn Mar- DT- Awesome size, strength (600 lb. squat) (400 lb. Bench), speed (4.9), and athleticism (plays lacrosse) and was quite an accomplished wrestler; which has made Bright one of the most recruited defensive linemen in the country. Double digit offers including Miami, Florida State, Pittsburgh and LSU.

Marques Slocum (6-6, 326) St. John Neumann, Philadelphia- OL/ DT- Very big but with good feet and athleticism for his size. Plays OG and DT in high school, but may project to OT. Prefers to play DT. Has collected at least twelve offers including LSU, Michigan, Tennessee, and Michigan State others interested include Maryland, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and USC.

Jason Kacinko (6-6,300) Penn-Trafford HS, Harrison City- OT- Great size and strength with very little body fat. One of the better offensive linemen in the northeast and a prototypical right tackle. A tough physical kid with very good technique and is amazingly light on his feet. Current offers from Pittsburgh , Louisville, and Syracuse, but other schools involved include Michigan, Ohio State, and USC.

Andre Mathis (6-2, 225) Erie Cathedral Prep, Erie- LB- Athletic and uses 4.6 speed to pursue the ball over the field. One of only two juniors last year to be named to Quad A All-State Team. Current offers are Penn State, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Nebraska, Maryland, Connecticut, and West Virginia

Shane Brooks (6-0,218) Duquesne HS, Duquesne- RB- Good size with 4.48 speed. Tough, hardnosed runner who also has great hands. Plays NT/DT for the Dukes. Currently has ten offers including Pittsburgh, Maryland, Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia, and Syracuse.

Kyle Newell (6-5, 235) Bethlehem Catholic HS, Bethlehem- DE- Tall, Lean, athletic pass rusher. Great pursuit skills and jumping ability. Knocks down a lot of passes. Has the frame to put on 30 pounds or more. Excellent basketball player who is being recruited by St. Joseph's. Football offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, and Northwestern.

Steve Slaton (5-11, 190) Conwell-Egan Catholic HS, Fairless Hills- RB- Track star with 4.4 speed, excellent strength, and a 35" vertical. Surprisingly, has no offers yet. He could be the best overall athlete in the state besides King. Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Iowa, and Virginia Tech are all interested.

LaRod Stephens (5-8, 165) Greater Johnstown HS, Johnstown- RB- Don't let the diminutive size fool you. Blessed with 4.48 speed, excellent strength, and amazingly quick feet; Stephens has people gasping at his highlight tape. Both Pittsburgh and Penn State offered immediately after viewing it. Currently playing baseball and track for the Trojans. LaRod has committed to Pittsburgh

Kurt Mattes (6-6,260) Wyoming Valley West HS, Plymouth- OT- Long arms, strong, and very quick feet make him an excellent left tackle prospect. Has the frame to put on a lot more weight. Excellent student with 4.2 GPA and 1280 SAT. Brother, Brian, plays for Notre Dame. Current offers from Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, and Virginia.

Mikell Simpson (6-0, 185) Harrisburg HS, Harrisburg- RB- Good speed and game breaking ability while also possessing good hands and punt return ability. Was offered recently by North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Syracuse, and Michigan State. Michigan and Pittsburgh among others, are interested.

David McClain (6-5, 325) Central Bucks South HS, Doylestown- OT- Good size and excellent drive blocker. Offered by Maryland early and verbally committed to them.

Christian Fleming (6-5, 240) Erie Strong Vincent HS, Erie- DE- A terror coming off the outside due to his explosiveness and 4.8 speed. A prototypical pass-rushing end. As a junior he had 41 tackles for loss and 22 sacks. Pittsburgh, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, and West Virginia are interested but no offers yet. According to his coach, he needs improvement academically.

Ernest Williams (6-2, 248) Monessen HS, Monessen- MLB- Tough, fast, and very strong. Claims to run a 4.6 and squat over 600. Shows great athleticism on the basketball court. Hindered by a lack of a current high school coach to send out tapes. Has an offers from Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Attracting interest from Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Miami, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Could see his stock rise after the Nike Combine in May.

Matt Lowry (6-6, 315) Cardinal O'Hara HS, Springfield- OT- Excellent size, adding 3 inches and 30 pounds since sophomore year. Tough with good athletic ability. Syracuse and Virginia have offered and others interested include Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State. Matt has committed to attend Virginia

Bill Stull (6-4, 190) Seton-La Salle HS, Pittsburgh- Not a good year for QB's in the state, but Stull is the best going into the season. Excellent touch and better than average arm. Very productive. Kentucky and Akron have offered and Pittsburgh, Mississippi, Ohio State, Michigan State, and West Virginia are interested. Came out of the Nike Combine at Ohio State as one of the top QB prospects there.

Nate Hartung (6-3, 385) Butler HS, Butler- C, NT- Maybe the strongest player in the country benching 465 pounds and squatting 700. Both are legitimate, as they have been done in weightlifting competitions. A bit heavy but is willing to work to lose it. Already has gone from 401 to 385 in the last month and expects to get down to at least 365 before senior season starts. Weight slows him down some but shows his athleticism on the basketball court. If he gets down to 330, he could be a force. Excellent character with a personality as big as his body. Syracuse offered as a center and West Virginia as a NT.

Stephen Smalls (6-2, 180) Conestoga Valley HS, Lancaster-WR- Combines excellent size with 4.5 speed and great leaping ability. Perhaps the best at the position, which is very thin state wide this season. Getting heavy interest from Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Michigan State, and Virginia Tech.

Jayson White (6-1, 215) Erie McDowell HS, Erie- SS- Ran for over 1,000 yards as a junior but is being recruited as a strong safety. An amazing athlete and a physical specimen. Very strong with 4.5 speed and a 37" vertical. Received his first offer from North Carolina recently. Perhaps the most under-rated player in the state. Getting a lot of interest from West Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan State.

Zack Anderson (6-6, 250) Interboro HS, Prospect Park- OT- Good athlete and very tough. Plays LT and projects to play there at the next level due to long arms. Underweight for the position in college, but can easily put on 50 pounds. Brother, Bryan, played at Pittsburgh and is currently a member of the Chicago Bears. Current offers are Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Purdue.

Brandon Richardson (6-4, 335) New Brighton HS, New Brighton- OG, OT, DT- Very big but has good feet. Being recruited on both sides of the ball but prefers defense. Very strong. Excellent student. Recently received an offer from Pittsburgh. North Carolina, Boston College, and Syracuse are showing interest, but as of now it is a Pittsburgh and Penn State battle.

Morgan Thomas (6-3, 305) Parkland HS, Allentown- OG, C- Awesome strength and excellent run blocker. Because of lack of height he projects to the interior of the line. Father played for Virginia. Pittsburgh and Penn State currently lead over Virginia, Ohio State, and Michigan.

David Harvey (6-1, 175) Penn Hills HS, Pittsburgh- WR- Excellent speed and game breaking ability but may not put up big numbers in Penn Hills' run offense, especially since Anthony Morelli has graduated. Likes Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Michigan. Reportedly has offers from Pittsburgh and Penn State

Steve Quinn (6-3,200) St. Joseph's Prep HS, Philadelphia-WR- Big and athletic, could play a multitude of positions at the next level. Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Virginia have been showing interest.

John Brown (6-4, 275) Burrell HS, Lower Burrell- OT- Was a TE but grew into a tackle. Maintained 4.9 speed. Good strength and feet. Father, John, was a TE at Pittsburgh in the mid-80s. Verbally committed to Pittsburgh over Iowa, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech.

Mario Henry (5-11, 200) Erie Strong Vincent HS, Erie- RB- Good size, speed, and 40" vertical. Also, pound for pound one of the strongest players in the state, currently owning four state power lifting records. No offers, but hearing from Pittsburgh, Michigan, Penn State, Virginia, West Virginia, and Syracuse.

Scott Uziel (6-4, 245) Franklin Regional HS, Murrysville- TE- Possibly the best TE in a good year for them in the state. Very good 4.75 speed, sure hands, and excellent blocking ability. Good strength and an excellent student. Pittsburgh, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Virginia, and North Carolina are all showing a lot of interest.

Will Barker (6-7, 275) Haverford School, Haverford- OT- Obviously great size with long arms, but also athletic enough to play lacrosse. Projects as a left tackle. Virginia has offered and Will committed to the Cavaliers over interest from North Carolina, Penn State, Duke, and Michigan State

Jarmal Ruffin (6-3, 200) Scotland School, Scotland- WR- Great size, hands, 4.5 speed, and a 35" vertical make him one of the most coveted WRs in the state. Getting interest from Penn State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and USC, among others.

John Pelusi (6-4, 235) Central Catholic HS, Pittsburgh- TE- Good speed and very strong. Also a good DE, but projects as a TE. Excellent student. Father, John, also played at Pittsburgh in the mid-80s. Pittsburgh and Connecticut have offered, Virginia, Maryland, and Iowa are interested.

Evin Jones (5-11, 195) Roman Catholic HS, Philadelphia-RB- Didn't start much during his junior season but showed enough flash to impress scouts and recruiters. Currently being pursued by Pittsburgh and Syracuse

Ovid Goulbourne (6-1, 198) Easton HS, Easton- RB- Will be the main focus of Easton's great running attack this year and should put up big numbers. Has 4.4 speed and excellent pass catching ability. Also has a nose for the end zone. Those interested include Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, Penn State, West Virginia, and Iowa.

Ryan Greiser (6-1, 215) Pennridge HS, Perkasie- FB, OLB- Very strong athlete, productive, and a 3.7 GPA. Rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and averaged 9.1 yds per carry. Recently got an offer from Syracuse. Others showing interest are from Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Deron Barrett (5-10, 180) Cheltenham HS, Wyncote- CB- Played safety and running back but projects as a cornerback. Excellent athlete that puts up big rushing numbers. Rushed for over 1,500 yards and wasn't even the teams main ball carrier. Penn State, Syracuse, and Maryland are interested.

Lawrence Green (6-4, 300) McKeesport HS, McKeesport- OT, OG- Very athletic big man who is also a very good basketball player. Good build with little fat. Has only played football for a few years. Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Iowa, Syracuse, and Virginia are among those that are interested.

Quintin Odem (6-1, 172) Farrell HS, Farrell- WR- Another big play receiver with blazing speed. Can go the distance any time that he touches the ball. Averaged 34 yards per catch and an amazing 52.8 yards on his 16 touchdowns. Interested teams include Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Indiana, Virginia, and South Carolina.

RC Lagomarsino (5-11, 175) Lansdale Catholic, Lansdale-RB- Rushed for over 2,000 yards and scored over 20 TDs. Reportedly has a verbal offer from Purdue.

Eugene Jarvis (5-6, 160) Central Catholic HS, Pittsburgh- RB- Amazingly talented runner with great speed and Barry Sanders-type feet. Also great hands and a great return man. If he were bigger, he would be one of the most recruited running backs in the country. Unfortunately, though, his size lowers his prospects. Recently gained his first offer from Pittsburgh. Others showing an interest are Michigan, Virginia Tech, Penn State, and West Virginia.

CJ Davis (6-3, 280) West Allegheny HS- Solid two-way lineman for coach Bob Palko. Has an early offer from West Virginia. Receiving interest from Kentucky and Syracuse among others.

Mike Dell (6-3, 225) Lower Dauphin HS, Hummelstown- MLB- Tough, hardnosed-tackling machine with 4.6 speed. Hearing mostly from Michigan State, Penn State, Illinois, Iowa, Syracuse, and Virginia.

Ken Lewis (6-1, 180) Penn Hills HS, Pittsburgh- RB, CB- Ran for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore but was hurt a lot as a junior. Has very good speed. Could project as a running back or a shut down corner. Interest is coming from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Maryland, and Notre Dame. Was offered by Pittsburgh recently.

Shane Hankinson (6-5, 250) Berlin Brothers Valley HS, Berlin OL/DL- Big strong kid, has been getting better and more dominating each season. Only knock on him is that he plays against weak competition in the West Pac Conference. Has the frame to add more weight. Being recruited by most Big East and Big Ten teams.

James Carson (6-0, 205) Erie Cathedral Prep, Erie- FS, SS- Great size and strength to go along with good speed. Hard hitter. Cousin of Andre Mathis. Interested schools include Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Penn State, and Michigan.

Zach Haulman (6-3, 277) Altoona Area HS, Altoona- OG- Very strong and tenacious. Also an excellent run blocker. Hearing from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia, and Boston College, among others.

Sean Lee (6-3, 200) Upper St. Clair HS, Upper St. Clair- FS, SS, LB- Good athlete and a very good basketball player. Good speed and a solid hitter. Smart on the field and off. Excellent student with a 3.8 GPA. Getting interest from Michigan, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Penn State, Iowa, and West Virginia.

Ben Maderia (6-4, 270) Forest Hills HS, Sidman- OG- Very strong lineman that plays in a pro style offense. Adept at both run blocking and pass blocking. Hearing mostly from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Syracuse, and Boston College.

Donnell McKenzie (6-3, 220) Aliquippa HS, Aliquippa- OLB-Tough, athletic, and nasty. Makes a lot of big plays for the Class AA state champions. Getting a lot of interest from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and others.

Marlon Bayard (5-7, 185) Wyoming Area HS, Exeter- RB, CB- Short but very fast and very strong. Also an excellent wrestler. Being looked at by Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech.

Elliot Bates (6-4, 290) Chartiers-Houston HS- OL- Very capable pass blocker. Quite the accomplished High School heavyweight wrestler. Has an offer from Pittsburgh; hearing a lot from Iowa.

Adam Hearns (6-2, 185) North Penn HS, Lansdale- CB, FS, QB- Very athletic and successful quarterback. Team won the PIAA Class AAAA state championship in no small part to his 809 yards rushing, 1166 yards passing, and 25 total touchdowns.

Reminder that this list is just my opinion based on my own personal research and film that I have been able to evaluate. The list will change often, as the evaluation process is a continuous and on going task. If there are players who I may have not gotten a chance to evaluate or you feel I may have missed, please feel free to contact me bob@steelcitysports.com.

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