The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Fabulous 22

The 31st All-Area High School Football Team -- A Thanksgiving tradition

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Look around major-college football programs and also in the NFL and you will see a number of former Fabulous 22 players.

The Fabulous 22 is made up of the top players in the WPIAL and City League and a number of them go on to big things in college or play in the NFL. The team is picked by the Post-Gazette scholastic sports staff, with help from high school and college coaches.

The first Fabulous 22 team was picked 31 years ago. Some of the former Fabulous 22 picks who are in the NFL are Darrelle Revis (Aliquippa), Rob Gronkowski (Woodland Hills), Steve Breaston (Woodland Hills), Paul Posluszny (Hopewell), Sean Lee (Upper St. Clair), Justin King (Gateway) and Charlie Batch (Steel Valley).

This year's Fabulous 22 is headed by the leading rusher in the history of Pennsylvania high school football (Hopewell's Rushel Shell). It also includes two of the leading rushers in WPIAL Class AAAA history (Mt. Lebanon's Luke Hagy and Central Catholic's Damion Jones-Moore) and one of the leading passers in WPIAL history (Montour's Dillon Buechel). The team consists of 19 seniors and three juniors.


DAKOTA CONWELL

Upper St. Clair

Position:QB-LB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 210

Year: Sr.

College talk: Made a verbal commitment this summer to Pitt and also had a few other Division I offers. Was recruited to play linebacker.

The scoop: Has 4,073 yards offense past two seasons (2,082 rushing and 1,991 passing). This year, Conwell has rushed for 997 yards on 118 carries and completed 56 of 93 for 1,075 yards. Also a force on defense.

Most memorable moment this season? Probably beating Central Catholic last week. Even though I didn't play [because of an ankle injury], I was real excited.

Favorite class? Economics.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? My mom's cheesecake.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Successful businessman.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I eat the same before every game -- a turkey sandwich from Portman's, some Cheetos and a Gatorade.


IAN PARK

Upper St. Clair

Position:OL-DL

Height: 6-4

Weight: 290

Year: Sr.

College talk: Has made a verbal commitment to Northwestern of the Big Ten Conference. Also had offers from other Division I colleges. One of two USC players headed to Northwestern (the other is Jack Schwaba).

The scoop: One of the top offensive linemen in the state who has helped Upper St. Clair reach the WPIAL AAAA final. Has overcome injuries and is playing his best the past few games. His brother, Austin, starts alongside him at center.

Most memorable moment this season? That's hopefully yet to come, but beating Mt. Lebanon and Central Catholic for now.

Favorite class? Law.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Apple pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Probably a sports agent.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I used to be able to draw pretty well, kind of like an artist.


KEVIN HART

Seton-LaSalle

Position:RB-DB

Height: 6-0

Weight: 185

Year: Sr.

College talk: Has been offered scholarships by Toledo, Villanova, William & Mary, Duquesne and VMI. Is being recruited as a slot receiver.

The scoop: The son of a former outstanding running back at Mt. Lebanon (Mark Hart), Kevin made a name for himself at Seton-LaSalle. Finished career with more than 3,000 yards rushing. This season, rushed for 1,723 yards for Class AA semifinalist.

Most memorable moment this season? Beating South Fayette to win the conference championship.

Favorite class? History.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Apple pie. You can't beat good apple pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? I'm not sure yet, but I'm looking at something in the medical field.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I'm a pretty good dancer.


GREG GARMON

McDowell

Position:RB-DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 200

Year: Sr.

College talk: Has narrowed his choices to Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina and Tennessee. Has already visited Illinois, Iowa and North Carolina and will go to Tennessee in December.

The scoop: Ranked among the top running backs in the state. Has good speed and rushed for 1,050 yards on 137 carries and scored 16 touchdowns in triple-option offense. Intercepted two passes. Also an excellent kick returner who averaged 28 yards on kickoff returns for WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinalist.

Most memorable moment this season? Winning a WPIAL playoff game for the first time.

Favorite class? Trigonometry-algebra III.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Sweet potato pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Pharmacist.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I'm afraid of dogs.


RUSHEL SHELL

Hopewell

Position:RB-LB

Height: 6-0

Weight: 210

Year: Sr.

College talk: Had scholarship offers from schools across the country before choosing Pitt in October.

The scoop: The most prolific runner in Pennsylvania history. Set WPIAL and PIAA records with 9,078 career yards on 1,107 attempts. Set WPIAL record with 110 career touchdowns and a national record with 39 consecutive 100-yard games. This season, had 2,312 yards on 311 attempts.

Most memorable moment this season? In the Indiana game Stephan Mrkonja picked up a fumble and I was just running and blocking people in front of him.

Favorite class? History.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Apple pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Businessman who travels the U.S.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I have twin daughters on the way.


JULIAN DURDEN

Montour

Position:RB-DB

Height: 5-9

Weight: 175

Year: Sr.

College talk: Made verbal commitment during the season to Kent State.

The scoop: Heads into WPIAL Class AAA championship game as the 10th-leading rusher in WPIAL history with 5,184 yards. Played past two seasons at Montour after playing freshman and sophomore years at North Catholic. This season, has rushed for 1,711 yards on 196 attempts and scored 26 touchdowns.

Most memorable moment this season? After last week, winning and going to Heinz Field. Better than winning the section last year.

Favorite class? I have a feeling I'm going to like this elective called Music Technology.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? My grandma's corn pudding.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? CEO of a major company.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I play the drums in church.


J.P. HOLTZ

Shaler

Position:RB-TE-LB

Height: 6-4

Weight: 235

Year: Sr.

College talk: Committed to Penn State in the summer, but now is looking elsewhere. Visited Purdue last weekend and also plans to visit Pitt in December.

The scoop: Mr. Versatility for the Titans. Played running back, receiver, tight end, linebacker and punter. Rushed for 337 yards on 72 carries, caught 19 passes for 332 yards, scored 15 TDs and was a force on defense for team that made Class AAAA playoffs.

Most memorable moment this season? Winning the McDowell game at homecoming. That was a big deal.

Favorite class? Economics.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Pumpkin pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Something in the criminal justice field.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I'm not originally from Shaler. I used to go to Deer Lakes.


JESSE JAMES

South Allegheny

Position:TE-DE

Height: 6-7

Weight: 250

Year: Sr.

College talk: Made a verbal commitment to Penn State during his junior year. Plans to graduate early and enroll at Penn State for the spring semester. "I'm committed to Penn State and I still want to get up there in January, no matter who the coach is," James said.

The scoop: Grew considerably the past few years and turned into a player who is considered one of the top tight ends in the state. Has good size and also enough speed and quickness to get open downfield.

Most memorable moment this season? Beating Ford City away.

Favorite class? Science.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Pumpkin pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Physical therapist.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I used to be a clown. I'd go with my grandfather dressed as a clown to Salvation Army events and things like that.


DEMETRIOUS COX

Jeannette

Position:QB-DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 195

Year: Sr.

College talk: Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Wisconsin, among others, have offered scholarships. Is being recruited as a defensive back.

The scoop: A two-way standout for the Jayhawks, Cox has rushed for 1,180 yards on 114 attempts and completed 51 of 87 passes for 753 yards. Ranked among the top 25 defensive backs in the country by some scouting services.

Most memorable moment this season? Hopefully, it's still yet to come, but as of now, beating Greensburg Central Catholic and winning the conference.

Favorite class? Trigonometry.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? My great grandma's pumpkin pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Own my own business.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? When I was 6, I was a black belt in karate.


DILLON BUECHEL

Montour

Position:QB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 180

Year: Sr.

College talk: Has a scholarship offer from Duquesne University. William & Mary and a few others are showing interest.

The scoop: A three-year starter who is the fifth-leading passer in WPIAL history with 6,218 yards (440 of 725). He compiled the yardage in only three seasons and also has 69 career TD passes. This season, has completed 139 of 206 for 2,130 yards and 35 touchdowns for WPIAL Class AAA finalist.

Most memorable moment this season? Hopefully, haven't had it yet.

Favorite class? History.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? My mom's pumpkin pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Something in pharmacy or broadcasting.

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


ROBERT FOSTER

Central Valley

Position:WR-DB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 185

Year: Jr.

College talk: Although he is only a junior, Foster already has a number of scholarship offers from major colleges. Pitt, Penn State, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State and North Carolina are among the schools that have offered.

The scoop: One of the fastest players in the WPIAL. A big-play receiver who finished with 37 catches for 584 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Also a talented defensive back for a team that went 11-1 and made the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals.

Most memorable moment this season? Playing on ESPN against Hopewell.

Favorite class? Software applications.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Sweet potato pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? An electrician.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I'm the baby, the youngest of four children.


COREY JONES

Penn Hills

Position:WR-RB-DB

Height: 5-9

Weight: 165

Year: Sr.

College talk: Is committed to Pitt. Was leaning toward Miami for a while, but then took a liking to Pitt. Cincinnati and West Virginia were his other finalists. Was recruited to play receiver.

The scoop: A versatile player who rushed for 499 yards on 42 attempts and also scored 10 touchdowns. Also led team in receptions with 25 for 398 yards. Excellent kick returner also.

Most memorable moment this season? When we beat Woodland Hills. That's a big rivalry for us.

Favorite class? Forensic science. I like it because it's a hands-on class.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Pound cake with icing on it.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Forensic scientist or an engineer. I want to major in engineering.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I was second-team all-conference as a punter.


LUKE HAGY

Mt. Lebanon

Position:RB-DB

Height: 5-10

Weight: 180

Year: Sr.

College talk: Has made a verbal commitment to play running back at Cornell of the Ivy League.

The scoop: Finished career with 4,795 yards, third-best in Class AAAA history. Had 72 career TDs. This season, rushed for 1,907 yards on 287 attempts. Also starting point guard on basketball team and an all-section outfielder in baseball.

Most memorable moment this season? Probably beating Woodland Hills in the first round of the playoffs, just because of the way they beat us last year.

Favorite class? Math.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? My grandma's pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Own my own business. I'm going to Cornell's business school.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I scored a touchdown in every single game I played in high school.


TYLER BOYD

Clairton

Position:RB-DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 174

Year: Jr.

College talk: Already has a scholarship offer from Pitt, and other Division I colleges are interested.

The scoop: One of the top juniors in the WPIAL. Does a little of everything for Clairton. Has 1,720 yards rushing on 136 attempts (12.6 average), 15 receptions for 316 yards and also has scored 36 touchdowns. Clairton coach Tom Nola has said Boyd might be the best all-around player he has ever coached.

Most memorable moment this season? I couldn't even tell you because we do the same thing every week -- blow a team out.

Favorite class? Math.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Cinnamon pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Something in the business industry.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I used to have braids when I was younger.


ADAM BISNOWATY

Fox Chapel

Position:OL-DL

Height: 6-6

Weight: 285

Year: Sr.

College talk: Committed to Pitt. Also considered Florida, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State.

The scoop: Helped Fox Chapel to its first playoff appearance since 2008. Paved the way for a rushing attack that racked up 1,128 yards on the season. Rated as a four-star offensive tackle by Rivals.com and ranked the No. 21 offensive tackle in the country.

Most memorable moment this season? Making the playoffs for just the ninth time in Fox Chapel's history. It was a really big achievement to start a tradition here.

Favorite class? Anatomy.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? I'm actually not a big pie guy, so my family always has a chocolate cake. That's what I go for.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Physical therapist.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I owned a 1967 Buick Special. I sold it not too long ago but that was a fun car to have.


T.J. NEAL

McKeesport

Position:RB-LB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 225

Year: Sr.

College talk: The latest in a line of Division I college prospects for McKeesport. Had a number of scholarship offers but Illinois, West Virginia and Texas Tech are his finalists.

The scoop: Ranked among the top linebackers in the eastern part of the country. An athletic LB who led McKeesport in tackles and also had a handful of sacks. Helped team to WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs.

Most memorable moment this season? The game against Gateway when I hit the tailback and dumped him on his head.

Favorite class? Math.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? My mother's spice cake.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? I'd like to get into the acting business.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I'm very emotional.


DEAYSEAN RIPPY

Sto-Rox

Position:WR-LB

Height: 6-2

Weight: 205

Year: Sr.

College talk: Has not narrowed his college list yet, but has offers from Pitt, Arizona State, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Southern California and UCLA.

The scoop: Scouting services rank him among the top linebackers in the state. Has excellent speed and has 22 catches for 389 yards.

Most memorable moment this season? I'd say just last week, winning against Bishop Canevin and getting to Heinz Field for the championship.

Favorite class? Trigonometry, believe it or not.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Sweet potato pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? A lawyer. My grandma says I talk well and I can argue my way through things.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I like the Steelers, but I'm also a Ravens and Jets fan.


DAMION JONES-MOORE

Central Catholic

Position:RB-DB

Height: 5-7

Weight: 180

Year: Sr.

College talk: Committed to play running back for Toledo Oct. 9. Also had offers from Ohio and Youngstown State.

The scoop: Finished the season with 1,670 yards and 32 touchdowns, averaging 9.4 yards per carry. Finished career as the fourth-leading rusher in WPIAL Class AAAA history with 4,747 yards.

Most memorable moment this season? Nothing in particular, just hanging out with the guys, joking around in the back of the locker room.

Favorite class? Modern America, a class about recent American history. We learn about World War I, the Cold War, things like that.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Pumpkin pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? I'd like to open up and run a day care center.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I like to sing.


JAYLEN COLEMAN

University Prep

Position:RB-LB

Height: 6-0

Weight: 220

Year: Sr.

College talk: Cincinnati is his No. 1 choice. Also considering West Virginia and Toledo. Is being recruited as a linebacker.

The scoop: One of the main reasons University Prep won the City League championship in its first year of existence. Played at Peabody last season, but Peabody closed. A hard-hitting linebacker who also had a gigantic impact as a halfback, running for 1,474 yards this season. He has scored 11 touchdowns for a team that will play in PIAA playoffs Saturday against State College.

Most memorable moment this season? Holding that championship trophy.

Favorite class? Psychology.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Apple pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? FBI agent.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I love watching TLC - "The Bad Girls Club."


PATRICK KUGLER

North Allegheny

Position:OL-DL

Height: 6-4

Weight: 270

Year: Jr.

College talk: Although he's only a junior, Kugler already has 16 scholarship offers. Pitt, Penn State, Florida State, Boise State, Michigan State, Iowa and Purdue are among the schools that have offered.

The scoop: One of the best junior offensive linemen in the eastern part of the country. Has excellent quickness and has 15 solo tackles on defense for WPIAL Class AAAA finalist. Son of Steelers line coach Sean Kugler.

Most memorable moment this season? Probably last week when we had a seven-minute drive at the end to beat Gateway.

Favorite class? Besides lunch, I would say history.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? I'd go with apple pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? Teacher.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I love chick flicks, like "P.S. I Love You."


ANTHONY NIXON

Central Catholic

Position:WR-DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 196

Year: Sr.

College talk: Committed to Maryland this summer. Was recruited to play defensive back. Also had offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Iowa and Michigan State. Some schools liked him as a receiver.

The scoop: One of the best two-way players in the state. An excellent receiver who led team with 43 receptions this season. Also a standout defensive back. A two-time Fabulous 22 selection.

Most memorable moment this season? Losing to Upper St. Clair last week. A positive memory would be beating Archbishop Wood in the first game of the year on ESPN.

Favorite class? Trigonometry.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Sweet potato pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? A pharmacist.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I play [video game] "Call of Duty" 24/7.


WAYNE CAPERS

Chartiers Valley

Position:WR-DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 200

Year: Sr.

College talk: Will visit Pitt in early December. Is being recruited to play receiver. Also a chance he might choose to play basketball in college. Duquesne has offered him a scholarship to play both football and basketball.

The scoop: An athletic, dual-threat quarterback who completed 60 of 125 passes for 1,044 yards and also rushed for 330 yards, despite missing a few games with injuries. Also one of the top players on Chartiers Valley's basketball team. A four-year varsity member in both sports.

Most memorable moment this season? A 65-yard pass to Zach Chapman.

Favorite class? History.

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Pumpkin pie.

Career, if not an athlete or coach? A teacher.

People might be surprised to know that ... ? I love watching hockey.



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