Pitt Looks For 2009 Recruits As Well

Even though the 2008 recruiting class has not been filled, the Pitt football team already is lining up prospects for 2009.

And the University of Pittsburgh should look no further than the WPIAL for much of that class. Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pa., with three talented prospects, should be the first destination.

Pitt already has told Gateway 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker Dorian Bell and 6-foot, 180-pound wideout Corey Brown, who will be juniors this fall, that it's interested in their talents in two years and gave them written scholarship offers. Offensive lineman Colin Rodkey (6-4, 265) should also get national interest during the next year as well.

"I'm glad I got an offer from Pitt, so it's looking pretty good right now,'' Bell said. "I also got offers from Syracuse, Boston College, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Rutgers and Penn State. So, I've gotten a lot of interest.

"It's really amazing that I've already had a lot of offers, but maybe I'll get even more than Shayne (Hayle) has, and he has a lot. Me and Corey, we're kind of rising stars, and I think we'll get more scholarships as we go on.''

Bell can run well for his size, and he's extremely athletic. With continued hard work in the weight room and physical maturity, Bell should add some weight to his frame as his recruitment heats up. But it appears that the Panthers have their work cut out for them if they hope to secure his commitment.

"I get a lot of support from my uncle and parents, and we're looking at academics as well as everything else,'' Bell said. "I know I can get some playing time at Pitt, and they should be a good team. Right now, though, I think I want to go away from home. But we'll see what happens.

"I'm sure Pitt will be one of my final choices, for sure, but right now I don't think I want to stay too close to home. But a lot can happen in the next year or so. I have a lot of time to make my decision, and I'll take my time. I want to make sure I pick the right place. So, I'll look at all my options.''

Brown was much more favorable toward Pitt, and he genuinely appeared to be interested in playing for the Panthers.

"Pitt's a good team, and they have a lot of good players right now,'' Brown said. "I like them a lot. I like the facilities. My cousin, Aaron Smith, he goes there right now, too. So, that's good. He talks to me a lot about what's going on, so we'll see what happens as I get more offers.''

Brown certainly approaches the entire recruiting process a little differently than Bell, but he has just as many offers.

"I'm just trying to concentrate on what I need to do for my junior year at Gateway, and the recruiting stuff will take care of itself,'' Brown said. "I have offers from Pitt, Penn State, Syracuse, Rutgers, Kentucky, West Virginia and Boston College. So, I have a good number right now.

"I never really thought about it too much before this, except to watch Shayne and Cam (Saddler) and what they're going through. But I still have two more years in high school, so maybe at this time next year I'll be a little more into it. But it's nice to get all the attention. I really like that.''

Several other WPIAL juniors should garner interest nationally like Dan Mason, nearly a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker Dan Mason from Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh; Juantez Hollins, a 6-5, 270-pound lineman from Aliquippa, Pa.; and Todd Thomas, a 6-4, 180-pound wideout from Beaver Falls, Pa.

Reportedly, the No. 1 prospect in the junior class from Pennsylvania is quarterback Tom Savage (6-4, 220) from Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield. He is followed by quarterback Justin Shirk (6-1, 210) from Central Dauphin, Erie quarterback D.J. Barney (6-3, 180), Central Dauphin defensive end Jack Lippert (6-5, 220) running back Jeremiah Young (5-10, 175) from Steelton-Highspire in Harrisburg, West Scranton offensive tackle Eric Shrive (6-7, 285), offensive lineman Adam Citko (6-5, 300) from Archbishop Wood in Philadelphia and wideout Je'Ron Stokes (6-1, 180) from Penn Charter in Philadelphia.

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