Recruit Report: WPIAL numbers are down, but not for long

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The WPIAL produced only 18 Division I-A football recruits this season, possibly the lowest number from the league ever.

But next year's WPIAL crop of players should be better.

The junior class in the WPIAL already has more than a dozen players who have scholarship offers from Division I-A colleges. There most certainly will be more players from the class of 2014 who will get offers, which means the WPIAL easily could have more than 20 players sign with Division I-A colleges next February.

Two players from the WPIAL junior class already have made verbal commitments to colleges. Blackhawk quarterback Chandler Kincade committed to Pitt his sophomore year when Todd Graham was the Panthers' coach. Kincade has stuck with his commitment to coach Paul Chryst.

Also, Gateway receiver Ricky Rogers has committed to West Virginia.

A handful of players from the WPIAL already have numerous scholarship offers and Pitt had some of those juniors on campus last Saturday for its "junior day." Some of the most heavily recruited players from the WPIAL class of 2014 are Washington running back Shai McKenzie, Aliquippa defensive back Dravon Henry, Gateway defensive back Montae Nicholson, Bethel Park offensive lineman Mike Grimm and Mt. Lebanon offensive lineman Alex Bookser.

McKenzie could be highly rated by scouting services when they release top 100 lists. He already has scholarship offers from Pitt, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Tennessee, among others.

Nicholson is a good-sized defensive back who was offered recently by Florida State. Among others that have offered are Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Michigan.

Those two linemen from the south suburbs are getting big-time attention from colleges, as well. Grimm is a 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive lineman and Bookser is a 6-6, 290-pound two-way lineman.

Pitt, West Virginia and Rutgers have offered Grimm while Penn State and a number of others are showing heavy interest. Bookser also can play defense and has a handful of scholarship offers.

Aliquippa's Henry grabs headlines for his talents as a running back, but his college position will probably be defensive back. He is one of the best defensive backs in the state and has a number of scholarship offers, including ones from Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan.

Teammate Jaleel Fields, a lineman, also has a Division I future.

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Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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