Recruit Report: Gateway near top of heap in recruits

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Maybe some of Gateway's highly touted football players haven't done much in their college careers. But as far as producing players who are highly ranked in high school, not many schools in the country do it better than Gateway.

Rivals.com has been ranking the top 250 players in the country since 2006. The Internet scouting service did a study on what high schools in the country have produced the most players on those lists. Gateway is tied for No. 6.

Since '06, Gateway has had six players ranked in Rivals.com's top 250. Linebacker Dorian Bell and defensive back Corey Brown were both five-star recruits while receiver Cam Saddler, linebacker-defensive lineman Shayne Hale, defensive back Dondi Kirby and receiver Aaron Smith were four-star recruits.

St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is No. 1 with 12 players in the top 250 since '06. Northwestern (Fla.) and Oaks Christian (Calif.) are tied for second with 10 players each. They are followed by Glenville (Ohio) with nine and Skyline (Texas) with eight. Gateway is tied with eight other teams.

"It's nice to be mentioned with some of those national powers," said Gateway coach Terry Smith.

Gateway also had a top 100 player in the class of'05 in Justin King, but Rivals didn't start a top 250 until '06. King had a successful career at Penn State and is now a defensive back with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

But when it comes to predicting college success, high school player rankings sometimes don't mean anything. Some highly touted players live up to their rankings in college, but some do not. Look at Gateway. Those six players ranked in the top 250 have not enjoyed much success in college.

Bell was the most ballyhooed of the six, an outstanding linebacker who signed with Ohio State. But he had some off-the-field issues at Ohio State and is now on the roster at Duquesne University. Brown was in the same class as Bell and also signed with Ohio State. Brown is a second-team safety for the Buckeyes.

Saddler is a senior receiver at Pitt and has had a few bright moments for the Panthers. But injuries have plagued him throughout his college years. Hale is a senior at Pitt, but has mostly been a reserve defensive lineman. Smith was a quarterback at Gateway who played receiver at Pitt, but didn't see much playing time.

Kirby signed with the University of Illinois in '11, but didn't qualify academically and played at a junior college in Brooklyn last year.

hsfootball

Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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