The 2010 Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 football team

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It's been a year of junior achievement in Western Pennsylvania high school football.

This year's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 has seven juniors, an unusally large number for the all-star team, which is picked by the PG's scholastic sports staff with help from coaches, college coaches and scouting services.

The team is made up of the top players in the WPIAL and City League.

The first Fabulous 22 was picked 30 years ago and numbers players on previous Fabulous 22 teams have gone on to big things in college and pro sports. The 2003 team had a Major League Baseball player (Pine-Richland's Neil Walker) and three players on active NFL rosters this season -- Aliquippa's Darrelle Revis (New York Jets), Kiski Area's Scott McKillop (San Francisco 49ers) and Gateway's Justin King (St. Louis Rams).

So without further ceremony ... this year's roster of all-stars:


DELVON SIMMONS
Simmons

McKeesport

Position: DT-OG

Height: 6-5

Weight: 262

Year: Sr.

The skinny: The only WPIAL player selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl all-star game in January. Was a standout on offense and defense. Led McKeesport in tackles from his defensive line position.

College talk: Was offered scholarships recently by Florida and Penn State. Has made official visits to Iowa, Rutgers and Oregon. Considering all those schools along with North Carolina and Michigan State.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Turkey and macaroni and cheese.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Antonio Gates or LaDanian Tomlinson.

Career, if not an athlete? A case worker because I like dealing with kids.

Most memorable career moment? When I got [an interception] in the ninth grade and got tackled by the quarterback.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? Dana Brown. He played at McKeesport a few years ago.

People might be surprised to know that ... I listen to rock music. I like the All-American Rejects.


BRANDEN JACKSON
Jackson

McKeesport

Position: TE-DE

Height: 6-5

Weight: 230

Year: Sr.

The skinny: A long, athletic player who is versatile enough to play a number of positions. Had 14 tackles for loss, five sacks and scored two touchdowns on defense. Also one of the top players on McKeesport's basketball team.

College talk: Has not made a decision yet, but has numerous scholarship offers. He has visited Texas Tech, Oregon, Iowa and Rutgers. Also considering a few others, and is being recruited mostly as a defensive player.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Macaroni and cheese.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? LeBron James.

Career, if not an athlete? A social worker, or something where I could mentor children.

Most memorable career moment? Probably winning the conference championship this year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My older brother. Ross Watson. He played basketball at Central Catholic and then Thiel.

People might be surprised to know that ... I like to sing and dance. I might not be too good at singing, but I can dance.


LUKE HAGY
Hagy

Mt. Lebanon

Position: RB-CB

Height: 5-11

Weight: 185

Year: Jr.

The skinny: A driving force in Mt. Lebanon's 10-1 season. Rushed for 1,981 yards on 282 attempts and scored 29 touchdowns Also excellent kick returner. Plays three sports (basketball and baseball are the others) and started in all three as a sophomore.

College talk: Is considered a Division I prospect for next season.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Mashed potatoes and gravy.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Peyton Manning.

Career, if not an athlete? Physical therapist.

Most memorable career moment? Definitely beating Upper St. Clair to win the conference title this year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My grandparents.

People might be surprised to know that ... I actually hold the shot put record in my middle school.


QUINTON JEFFERSON
Jefferson

Woodland Hills

Position: DE-TE

Height: 6-4

Weight: 230

Year: Sr.

The skinny: Ranked by scouting services as one of the top defensive ends in the state. Very athletic and an excellent pass rusher. Jefferson, who added 20 pounds since last season, runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds.

College talk: Is being recruited by Division I schools for defense. Jefferson said Iowa, Maryland and Cincinnati are his top three schools and has scholarships to all three.

Thanksgiving food you must have? My grandma's macaroni and cheese.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Kanye West.

Career, if not an athlete? A shoe designer [sneakers].

Most memorable career moment? I'd have to say last year against Steubenville when I went up to block a pass and ended up getting hit and doing a front flip.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My grandfather.

People might be surprised to know that ... I draw and like comic books.


MIKE CAPRARA
Caprara

Woodland Hills

Position: LB-FB-TE

Height: 6-0

Weight: 210

Year: Jr.

The skinny: A starter since his freshman year and Woodland Hills' leading tackler the past two seasons. Will most likely break school record for tackles next season. An intense linebacker who hits hard. Has five uncles who played major-college football.

College talk: Division I colleges are interested for next season.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Grandma Caprara's yams.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Roberto Clemente.

Career, if not an athlete? Guidance counselor. I think I'm a good role model and I want to be a leader.

Most memorable career moment? An interception at Heinz Field last year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? Paul Sperduto. He coached me in junior high and passed away last year. And our linebackers coach, Keelan Rozier.

People might be surprised to know that ... I've played guitar since I was 10 years old.


ANTHONY NIXON
Nixon

Central Catholic

Position: WR-DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 192

Year: Jr.

The skinny: One of the top junior two-way players in the WPIAL. Led Central Catholic in receptions with 34 for 699 yards (20.6 yards a catch). Played safety on defense and intercepted three passes for a Central Catholic team that went 11-1 and allowed only 11.1 points a game.

College talk: Already has a scholarship offer from Pitt. He is expected to have other offers by the time his senior season comes around. Most colleges like him as a defensive back.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Homemade stuffing with gravy.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Beyonce.

Career, if not an athlete? CEO of the world.

Most memorable career moment? When I jumped over [Woodland Hills'] Lafayette Pitts and got the ball off him on a pass last year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? Our coach, Terry Totten. He just talks to me so much about football and life in general.

People might be surprised to know that ... I was always the shortest person in my class until I went from 5 feet 4 to 5-10 one year.


DAKOTA CONWELL
Conwell

Upper St. Clair

Position: QB-LB

Height: 6-1

Weight 205

Year: Jr.

The skinny: In first year as starting QB, had more than 2,000 yards offense, was the team's third-leading tackler on defense and led in sacks. Rushed for 1,085 yards on 167 attempts and was 62 of 121 passing for 916 yards. Scored 16 touchdowns.

College talk: Only a junior and could be a Division I prospect next year.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Cheesecake.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? My brother, Dane.

Career, if not an athlete? A coach.

Most memorable career moment? Beating West Allegheny this year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My grandfather [George Byrd]. He's just a good guy. He's a saint.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm very superstitious. Like the night before games, I have to meditate in bed and eat the same thing for dinner -- Jack Daniels pulled pork sandwich and tater tots.


DELRECE WILLIAMS
Williams

Steel Valley

Position: RB

Height: 5-11

Weight: 185

Year: Sr.

The skinny: Was WPIAL's top rusher in the regular season with 2,149 yards. Added 239 yards in the Ironmen's WPIAL playoff game to finish with 2,388 yards on 246 attempts (a 9.71 yards per carry average). Williams was also the leading WPIAL scorer, having scored 31 touchdowns in the regular season and three more in the postseason.

College talk: Lists Connecticut as his No. 1 choice, but is still undecided.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Cornbread. Have to have cornbread

Person you'd like to spend a day with? I'd like to spend a day with Michael Vick. That's my favorite athlete. He could give me some pointers on my game.

Career, if not an athlete? I would like to pursue acting, be the next Denzel Washington or something.

Most memorable career moment? Going to the playoff game this year, and the first time I touched the ball, I scored a touchdown.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? Probably my grandmother. She's just such a hard worker. She shows me what hard work can do. If I work hard, I can get a lot of things in life.

People might be surprised to know that ... I love to sing in the shower.


ALEX PAPSON
Papson

North Allegheny

Position: RB

Height: 5-8

Weight: 180

Year: Sr.

The skinny: A strong and fast runner, Papson has rushed for 2,360 yards and 31 touchdowns for WPIAL AAAA finalist. Rushed for more than 200 yards in six games this season and rushed for more than 300 yards once. One of only six running backs in WPIAL AAAA history to rush for more than 4,000 career yards.

College talk: Getting interest from a number of Division I schools, including Pitt, Buffalo, Akron, Ohio Robert Morris and Duquesne.

Thanksgiving food you must have? My aunt's mashed potatoes. They're some of the best I've ever had.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? I'd have to say Jesus Christ.

Career, if not an athlete? I plan to major in accounting next year.

Most memorable career moment? It was my touchdown whenever I was a freshman against Upper St. Clair. Now it's the touchdown I had against Central Catholic in the fourth quarter of the [WPIAL semifinal] game. That was pretty surreal.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? The football coaches. They rub off on you a lot -- in a good way, that is.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm a shy person. People expect me to be outgoing, but I'm shy when I first meet people.


AUSTIN MIELE
Miele

Mars

Position: RB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 195

Year: Sr.

The skinny: Rushed for WPIAL playoff record 448 yards in first-round game vs. Hollidaysburg. Was only 7 yards shy of the all-time WPIAL mark for most rushing yards in a game. Finished the season with 1,703 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns. Also had more than 4,000 career rushing yards.

College talk: Has an offer from Saint Francis (Pa.) and has interest from other Division I schools, including Ohio, Youngstown State, William & Mary and Robert Morris.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Stuffing.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? James Harrison. Ever since they made their Super Bowl run a couple years back, I've always liked James Harrison.

Career, if not an athlete? Right now I'm undecided. I think I will major in medicine or criminology.

Most memorable career moment? People would probably think the 448 yards, but earlier this season when we played Pine-Richland, a big rival, I had a big run with 30 seconds left in the game to win it for us. I'll always remember that.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My oldest brother Josh. He's always been there for me. He calls me before every game. When we talk, it's not only about football, but life in general.

People might be surprised to know that ... My favorite video game is a soccer game.


PAUL LANG
Lang

Mt. Lebanon

Position: TE-DE

Height: 6-5

Weight: 237

Year: Sr.

The skinny: A versatile tight end, Lang excels as a blocker and a receiver. Caught 25 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns. Helped anchor a Blue Devils defense that propelled Mt. Lebanon to its first conference championship since 2003.

College talk: Committed to Michigan State.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Apple crisp. We usually have all the typical thanksgiving food, and my mom does a great job at that. My favorite part is finishing my plate with some warm apple crisp.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? My grandma Lang on my dad's side. I never met her, and I always wanted to.

Career, if not an athlete? Right now I'm undecided. I've been putting a lot of thought into it, but I'm not sure at the moment.

Most memorable career moment? Beating Upper St. Clair in the conference championship. We were down 10-0 in the fourth quarter and we came back to win, 14-10. It was a big rivalry game for us and it won us a conference championship.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My siblings. I have two older brothers and one older sister. I've just based my character off of them. They help me set goals and helped me accomplish them.

People might be surprised to know that ... I don't like ketchup.


MATT McCANN
McCann

Keystone Oaks

Position: QB-RB-LB

Height: 5-11

Weight: 190

Year: Sr.

The skinny: Rushed for 1,250 yards and 24 touchdowns on 172 carries. Gained more than 1,000 yards for second consecutive season. Completed 36 of 68 passes for 615 yards and five touchdowns from the wildcat formation.

College talk: Committed to Villanova.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Gotta have turkey.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Probably Ray Lewis. He'd just be an awesome guy to be around. I would definitely remember everything he said.

Career, if not an athlete? Right now I'm debating whether or not to go into education or business.

Most memorable career moment? The Greensburg Central Catholic game this year [first round WPIAL playoff win]. That was definitely my favorite victory.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My older brother, Luke. He's just been my best friend my whole life and he's always there for me, always knows what to say. We're always on the same page

People might be surprised to know that ... My dad's on the coaching staff. He coaches running backs and defensive backs.


DESIMON GREEN
Green

Clairton

Position: QB-DE

Height: 6-5

Weight: 230

Year: Sr.

The skinny: A tall and strong athlete, Green is one of the WPIAL's most talented players, regardless of classification. Has completed 61 of 96 passes for 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns. Also has 72 rushing attempts for 554 yards and 10 touchdowns. Anchors a defense that shut out eight opponents this season.

College talk: Committed to Pitt but said "we'll see what happens."

Thanksgiving food you must have? Lasagna. I must have it. My family has it every year.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? My old coach [DeMonje Rosser, who died in 2009].

Career, if not an athlete? I want to write my own columns in a paper.

Most memorable career moment? Last year when I scored the game-winning touchdown down at Heinz Field.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My trainer, Tammy Ridgley. She has pushed me so hard over the years. I didn't know if I was going to play football my sophomore year, and she came to my house and made me.

People might be surprised to know that ... I listen to slow music before the games. Slow jams, like R&B, stuff like that.


LAFAYETTE PITTS
Pitts

Woodland Hills

Position: RB-K

Height: 6-0

Weight: 188

Year: Sr.

The skinny: Though his future as a college football player is on defense, Pitts is used solely as an offensive player for the Wolverines. Pitts has rushed for 1,709 yards and 25 touchdowns on 200 carries. He has also caught two touchdown passes, leading Woodland Hills from a 1-3 start to the WPIAL championship game.

College talk: Committed to Pitt, where he will play defensive back.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Stuffing.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Adrian Peterson. That's my favorite running back.

Career, if not an athlete? Not sure. Probably something with sports.

Most memorable career moment? The touchdown against Mt. Lebanon in overtime [2010 WPIAL quarterfinals].

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? Coach Novak. He's just a great, great leader and a great man. I always do what he tells me.

People might be surprised to know that ... I don't like to spend a lot of time outside.


CHRISTIAN BRUMBAUGH
Brumbaugh

South Fayette

Position: QB

Height: 6-4

Weight 200

Year: Sr.

The skinny: The fourth-leading passer in WPIAL history with more than 6,000 career yards. Led WPIAL in regular-season passing yardage and touchdowns. Has completed 171 of 262 passes for 2,728 yards and 37 touchdowns this season. Has 72 career TD passes. Led the Lions to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. Made the Fabulous 22 as a junior.

College talk: Undecided (Has offers from Robert Morris and Saint Francis).

Thanksgiving food you must have? I love it all, but probably turkey.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Troy Polamalu or Hines Ward

Career, if not an athlete? I want to study mechanical engineering.

Most memorable career moment? It's still going on right now. The fact that we're playing at Heinz Field for the WPIAL championship.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My grandpap.

People might be surprised to know that you ... I'm a lector at my local church, and I go to dance class.


ARMSTEAD WILLIAMS
Williams

Gateway

Position: WR-OLB

Height: 6-3

Weight 205

Year: Sr.

The skinny: An aggressive competitor with great athleticism, Williams is known for bone-crushing hits and sure-handed tackling. He was the leader of the Gateway defense (he'll likely play linebacker in college) and also the team's top receiver, catching 29 passes for 357 yards. Williams was a sure-handed pass-catcher who used great speed to get open and avoid would-be tacklers.

College talk: Undecided. Has more than a dozen offers, but will probably choose between Maryland and Iowa.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Turkey, stuffing and macaroni and cheese.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Mike Wallace. I like his playing style.

Career, if not an athlete? Architect.

Most memorable career moment? My first varsity game against Penn Hills last year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My grandmother.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm a very well-rounded kid. I'm on top of things.


ROB KUGLER
Kugler

North Allegheny

Position: TE-DE

Height: 6-3

Weight: 245

Year: Sr.

The skinny: A defensive force, Kugler made an instant impact for the WPIAL finalist Tigers. Kugler is one of the strongest linemen in the WPIAL, but he has great speed, and he uses it well. The Tigers have allowed the fewest points of any WPIAL Class AAAA team, and only Clairton and Rochester have allowed fewer points among WPIAL teams. Transferred to North Allegheny from Buffalo after his father, Sean, was named offensive line coach for the Steelers in January.

College talk: Committed to Purdue.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Cranberry sauce.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Will Ferrell.

Career, if not an athlete? Something with the government. I want to go into foreign policy.

Most memorable career moment? When I was in Buffalo, we won the state championship.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My brother.

People might be surprised to know that ... I like to read.


GREG McGHEE
McGhee

Perry

Position: QB

Height: 6-2

Weight: 190

Year: Sr.

The skinny: Most believe McGhee is the top player in the City League. A three-year starter, McGhee led Perry to its first City title since 2005. McGee has passed for 2,164 yards so far this season and has thrown more than four times as many touchdowns (22) as interceptions (5). McGhee added another 12 scores on the ground, leading the Commodores to an 11-1 overall record and undefeated mark against City League opponents. McGee is also a basketball player for the Commodores.

College talk: Undecided, but a few Division I and Division II schools are interested.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Ham and stuffing.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? My grandmother. She passed away when I was young.

Career, if not an athlete? I would like to open up a business, probably a sports store.

Most memorable career moment? Winning the City championship.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? My little brother.

People might be surprised to know that ... I love to go fishing.


JUSTIN HASER
Haser

North Allegheny

Position: OT-DE

Height: 6-5

Weight: 245

Year: Sr.

The skinny: A big and strong force in the trenches, Haser has helped anchor a defense that has allowed a WPIAL Class AAAA-best 7.8 points per game and will play in the championship game Saturday. Is also a strong offensive linemen, blocking for one of the WPIAL's most successful rushers in Alex Papson. The Tigers average the most points scored (34.0) of any WPIAL Class AAAA team.

College talk: Undecided. Ohio, Bowling Green, Youngstown State and Delaware have offered.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Cornbread.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Sidney Crosby.

Career, if not an athlete? I want to major in exercise science, so maybe a strength trainer for a team somewhere.

Most memorable career moment? My first varsity start my sophomore year against Mt. Lebanon

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? Probably my volleyball coach, Dan Schall.

People might be surprised to know that ... I play volleyball.


DILLON BUECHEL
Buechel

Montour

Position: QB

Height: 6-4

Weight 175

Year: Jr.

The skinny: Tall and lanky player who is perhaps the best junior quarterback in the WPIAL, Buechel has completed 140 of 227 for 2,085 yards and 24 TDs, with only four interceptions, in helping the Spartans reach Saturday's WPIAL Class AAA championship game. Is extremely accurate, completing 61.7 percent of his passes, and moves well in the pocket. In two seasons, has completed 283 of 484 for 3,957 yards.

College talk: Is a Division I prospect for next year.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Stuffing.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Tom Brady.

Career, if not an athlete? Hopefully broadcasting.

Most memorable career moment? Winning the Parkway Conference championship at home this year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? All of the football coaches.

People might be surprised to know that ... I love playing golf.


JULIAN DURDEN
Durden

Montour

Position: RB

Height: 5-8

Weight: 170

Year: Jr.

The skinny: Fast and shifty, the diminutive Durden has put up big numbers for the undefeated Spartans, rushing for 1,870 yards and 24 touchdowns on 239 carries. He also has three touchdowns receiving. Durden averages more than 7 yards per carry for a Montour offense that outscored opponents by an average of 18.9 points per game. He attended North Catholic his first two years.

College talk: A Division I college recruit for next year.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Turkey, of course, and sweet potato pie.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? I think it would be (comedian) Kevin Hart.

Career, if not an athlete? I think I'd be interested in TV broadcasting or maybe a trainer.

Most memorable career moment? Probably winning the section title with my new team.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? Just learning from mistakes that people around me make.

People might be surprised to know that ... I watch SpongeBob all the time.


RUSHEL SHELL
Shell

Hopewell

Position: RB-DB

Height: 5-11

Weight: 216

Year: Jr.

The skinny:

Rushed for 2,510 yards on 323 attempts this season and scored 27 TDs. Had three 300-yard games. Already second-leading rusher in WPIAL history with 6,766 career yards on 796 attempts. Has 82 career TDs. Needs only 880 yards to tie WPIAL record. Has 29 consecutive 100-yard games.

College talk: Already has scholarship offers from schools across the country. Likes Pitt, Ohio State, Albama, Florida, Oregon, along with a few others. "I'm very open," Shell said.

Thanksgiving food you must have? Turkey and mashed potatoes.

Person you'd like to spend a day with? Kathryn B -- a girl I haven't seen in a long time.

Career, if not an athlete? Work for the CIA.

Most memorable career moment? Beating West Allegheny in overtime this year.

Person, other than your parents, who has influenced you the most? [Hopewell assistant coach] Pat Tarquinio.

People might be surprised to know that ... I watch Dragon Ball Z before every game.



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