Top 35 recruits in the state of Pennsylvania


Posted May 12, 2003


In this updated list of the top 35 recruits in Pennsylvania for the 2004 class, I’ve factored in what I observed at the 2003 Penn State Nike Camp. Outstanding performances at the camp by James Bryant, Anthony Morelli, Andrew Johnson, and Chad Henne have moved them up to the top 4 on my list, with Bryant and Morelli tied for the top spot.

Rankings are based on sophomore and junior year statistics, summer camp reviews, film reviews, college interest, and senior season play.
  1. James Bryant - LB - Reading, PA. (Reading HS) 6-3/240, 4.53. Fantastic hitting ability. Great at the point of contact –a strong, fast, quick, instinctive player. Best LB in the state since Arrington. Pitt wants him badly. Has the talent to start as a true freshmen...anywhere. James registered 132 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior. Bench presses 390, squats 505, and has power cleaned 330. Brother of current Panther Sam Bryant. Bryant attended Pitt’s spring game. It may come down to Pitt and Miami, but he also likes Ohio State and Virginia Tech. Bryant was the MVP of the 2003 Penn State Nike Camp and put on a spectacular performance.

  1. Anthony Morelli - QB - Pittsburgh, PA (Penn Hills HS) 6-4/215, 4.70. Great talent...arm strength and quick release remind many of Dan Marino. Better arm than Henne but not quite the overall athlete. May have a better upside since he plays in a run-oriented system. As a junior, the Penn Hills quarterback completed 78 passes in 148 attempts (53% completion percentage) for 1,880 yards and 20 TD's, while throwing only 9 interceptions. Morelli was named to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Terrific 25 Football Team as a junior. Anthony was clearly the best out of an outstanding field of QB's at the Penn State Nike Camp. Pitt, UCLA, Ohio State and Florida State may be the leaders at this point. He was recently invited to the Elite 11 QB Camp in California.
  2. Andrew Johnson - RB - Pittsburgh, PA (North Hills HS) 6-0/195, Legit 4.4 speed. Super talent, breakaway speed, great athlete. Could end up as one of the top 5 RB's in the country if he rebounds from an injury-plagued junior season. Rushed for over 1,700 yards as a sophomore despite missing almost 3 games. Possibly the #2 most talented prospect in the state next to LB Bryant. Max Emfinger has him currently listed as the #1 RB in the country. Pitt and UCLA may be his top two, with Miami also among his favorites. Johnson put on an incredible performance at the Penn State Nike Camp and was named Camp MVP.
  3. Chad Henne - QB - West Lawn, PA (Wilson HS) 6-3/210, 4.80. Big-time talent... has all the tools to be a great one. On an even par with Morelli when you factor in talent, potential upside and development. Henne had a very good performance at the Nike Camp despite being rusty and recovering from a non-throwing shoulder injury. Penn State, Michigan, and Tennessee are his top three.
  4. Dan Connor - LB - Wallingford, PA (Strath Haven HS) 6-3/225, 4.65. Dan is a talented prospect and very advanced at his position for a high school player. A hard-nosed player. Does not have quite the potential for college ball that Bryant has... but he is a big-time talent. Heavy PSU lean.
  5. A.Q. Shipley - OL/DT - Moon, PA (Moon HS) 6-3/270, 4.90. Tough kid with a super motor. Has started since his freshman season. Pitt, PSU, and Michigan offered before his junior season. Would be an excellent D-lineman, but he could be an All-American center also. Recorded 70 tackles - 17 for a loss, 6 sacks, and 98 pancake blocks as a junior. Pitt, PSU, Ohio State, and Michigan are his top 4. Could be a heated recruiting battle.
  6. Corey Davis - LB - Pittsburgh, PA (Peabody HS) 6-3/ 260, 4.65. Verbal to Pitt. That's right...runs a 4.65 40 at 260lbs...enough said. Great run-stuffer. May grow into a defensive end... should be 280 easily once he starts into a serious strength and conditioning program. Corey is a 3-year starter; he had 80 tackles (60 solo), 7 sacks, and 3 interceptions this past season and was named All-City League. His stats also include two forced fumbles, one punt block, and one blocked extra point. Corey was also named to the Tribune-Review All-Class AAA team and was selected to the Tribune-Review East Terrific 25 team.
  7. Adam Gunn - Safety - Vandergrift, PA (Kiski Area HS) 6-3/195. Verbal to Pitt. Great 2-way athlete. Plays QB on offense. Great hitter, will knock you out. Excellent ball skills. Max Emfinger says he is one of the top 10 safeties in the country and ranks him among the top 6 free safety recruits in the nation. Adam registered 63 tackles and 3 interceptions as a junior. He threw for 1,033 yards and 13 TD's as a QB. Adam was selected to the Tribune-Review All-Class AAAA team as an All-purpose performer. Adam gave Pitt an early verbal over heavy interest from Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue, Penn State, and West Virginia.
  8. Craig Bokor - OL/DT - Hopewell, PA (Hopewell HS) 6-4/275. Verbal to Pitt. Wants to play defense in college...could be a great guard though. Great motor; tough, hard-nosed style. Helped lead his team to the WPIAL and PIAA titles as a junior. 3-year starter, Had 75 tackles and six sacks in 2002. Bokor was selected to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Terrific 25 football team as a junior. Craig gave an early verbal to Pitt over heavy interest from Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Virginia.
  9. Tyrell Sales - LB - Butler, PA (Butler HS) 6-4/225, 4.60. Excellent size and speed. Super athlete, very good basketball player too. Tyrell was named 1st team All-Quad North at linebacker as a junior. Should really show what he can do his senior season. Tyrell had approximately 90 tackles and 7 sacks during his junior campaign. Pitt, WVU, Syracuse, PSU, and Maryland have offered. Pitt and PSU are his top two and he should decide by the end of summer.
  10. Anthony Heygood - RB - Springfield, PA (Cardinal O'Hara HS) 6-2/195. Excellent speed but also a very physical runner. Outstanding track performer (javelin and 200 meters). Like Andrew Johnson, he played through an injury-plagued junior season yet still produced good numbers.
  11. Kyle Mitchum - OT - Erie, PA (Erie McDowell HS) 6-6/270. 5.00. He was named 2nd team All-State on the offensive line. Registered 31 tackles, 27 assists, and 9 sacks on defense. Penn State, Pitt, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State, West Virginia, Ohio State, and Florida State have already offered.
  12. Chris Rogers - TE/DE - Wexford, PA (North Allegheny HS) 6-3/240. PA Football News 3rd team All-State at TE as a junior. Chris was named 1st team All-Quad North on defense as a junior. Has offers from Pitt, PSU, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, and Purdue. Registered 50 tackles - 30 solo, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries at defensive end as a junior. At TE, he had 14 catches for 278 yards and 4 TD's as a junior.
  13. Greg Harrison - OL/DL - Shenandoah, PA (Shenendoah Valley HS) 6-5/295. Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State have offered. 3-year starter on both sides of the ball. Greg was named All-State as a junior by PA Football News. Harrison verballed to Penn State before the Nike Camp.
  14. Rory Nicol - TE/DE – Beaver, PA (Beaver Area HS) 6-5/240, 4.80. 3-year starter, also plays basketball and track. Pitt, Syracuse, WVU, and Toledo among others have already offered. 3.4 GPA, 1020 SAT. Most schools want him as a tight end.
  15. Darrelle Revis - WR/CB - Aliquippa, PA (Aliquippa HS) 6-0/180, 4.40. His coach also coached Ty Law and Bernard Lay and says he is every bit as good...what more can you say? 3-year starter, also plays basketball and track. Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse are the schools that have been showing heavy interest. Excellent athlete, terrific basketball player too.
  16. Scott McKillop - LB/RB - (Kiski Area HS) 6-2/215. Verbal to Pitt. He was selected All-Quad South... also selected to the Tribune Review All-Quad AAAA team as an all-purpose performer at RB/LB. Led his team with 124 tackles - 10 for losses, intercepted 2 passes, and forced 5 fumbles. Also rushed for 729 yards and 9 TD's. Outstanding wrestler, finished 3rd in the state. His brother Chris McKillop signed with Pitt this past season.
  17. Jordan Steffy - QB - Lancaster, PA (Conestoga Valley HS) 6-2/210. Jordan's currently being recruited by Pitt. He has offers from Maryland and Virginia and is generally considered one of the top 20 players in the state of PA. Purdue was also said to have made a verbal offer to him last winter. Earned first-team All-Section honors after completing 158-of-246 passes for a league-best 2,031 yards and 19 TD's. He is also an excellent basketball player and has often been his team's leading scorer. Steffy had a strong performance at the 2003 Nike Camp and was one of the camp's biggest surprises.
  18. Dan Lawlor, - FB/LB - Mechanicsburg, PA (Cumberland Valley HS) 6-2/230. Ran for 1,200 yards on 144 carries for 23 TD's. VT leads - Michigan, Virginia, and Maryland also in the hunt.
  19. Dave Weber - OL - King of Prussia, PA (Upper Merion HS) 6-4/305. Will be the top OL in southeast PA and easily one of the top 5 in the state. Pitt and Syracuse have offered. Registered 40 pancake blocks on offense and 70 tackles on defense.
  20. Mortty Ivy - QB/Safety - Monroeville, PA (Gateway HS) 6-2/200, 4.50. He is getting heavy interest from Pitt, PSU, WVU, Boston College, Maryland, Michigan State, Syracuse, and Duke. At QB, Mortty completed 59 of 133 passes for 815 yards and 9 TD's. He also rushed for 654 yards on 123 carries for 11 TD's. Mortty was just as impressive on defense as he registered 55 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and 2 interceptions at the safety position. Mortty was named 1st team All-Quad South as a junior. Ivy had a strong performance at the Nike Camp. WVU leads at this time, but he also likes Pitt.
  21. Curtis Brinkley - RB - Philadelphia, PA (West Catholic HS) 5-10/180. Curtis was selected 2nd team All-State Big Schools. Has set Philadelphia's all time single-season rushing record. He will break the Philly career single-season rushing record this year, barring injury.
  22. Devon Lyons - Safety - (Woodland Hills HS) 6-3/205, 4.50. One of the state's top safety prospects, Lyons finished his junior season with 49 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles. Attended Pitt’s spring game. Had a strong performance at the Nike Camp. Excellent size, fluid runner. Ohio State and Pitt, among others, are recruiting him.
  23. Neil Walker - WR – Gibsonia, PA (Pine-Richland HS) 6-2/200. Excellent athlete, fantastic WR. Walker was selected to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Terrific 25 football team as a junior. Also an excellent baseball player with pro potential.
  24. Dontey Brown - LB - McKeesport, PA (McKeesport HS) 6-3/230. Big, tough, strong kid - one of the top 3 LB's in Western PA. As a junior, Dontey was named 1st team All-Quad West at his linebacker position.
  25. Ben Iannacchionne - OT/NG - (Baldwin HS) 6-4/283. One of the best offensive linemen in western PA. Ben attended Pitt’s Bluechip Day held for the top junior recruits. Excellent lineman, also a force on defense. Ben will most likely play offensive line in college.
  26. Jon Skinner - OT - Mount Carmel, PA (Mount Carmel HS) 6-5/285. Has an offer from Pitt, Likes PSU, Michigan, and Virginia also. Jon was selected 2nd team All-State last year after missing a lot of time with a knee injury. He was ranked among the top dozen juniors in the state before his injury.
  27. Ryan Ehrie - OT - Bethlehem, PA (Freedom HS) 6-7/295, 5.03 40 at the Nike Camp. 3-Year, 2-way starter. 32 Pancake blocks on offense. 3rd Leading tackler on defense. Very strong. His coach says he is the hardest working kid he’s had in the weight room in 31 years of coaching. One of the biggest surprises of the 2003 Penn State Nike Camp. He showed excellent feet and agility. Pitt, Maryland, Notre Dame, Stanford, Penn State, and Duke are among those showing heavy interest.
  28. Travis Decker - Allentown, PA (Parkland HS) 6-3/225. Great motor, will need to add weight. Had over 13 sacks during the playoff's last year. Looked good at the Nike Camp, just needs time to increase his size.
  29. Mark Ciufo - Monroeville, PA (Gateway HS) 6-3/275 4.97. Mark has started both ways since his sophomore year. He was named 1st team All-Quad South as a junior. Pitt, NC State, NC, WVU, BC, and Duke are showing heavy interest.
  30. Nick Skeparnias - QB – York, PA (York Suburban HS) 6-2/195. Passed for 2,132 yards and 21 TDs in 2002. Nick was named 1st team All-State by PA Football News. Nick looked good at the 2003 Nike Camp. He moves very well and has a solid arm.
  31. Ryan Purvis - TE - Lancaster, PA (Catholic HS) 6-5/ 235. Played great at the PIAA Basketball Championship game. Excellent athlete with the frame to get much bigger. 21 receptions for 322 yards and 3 TD’s on offense. 48 tackles on defense including 5 sacks. He also added 2 pass breakups and 2 fumble recoveries. He also added 2 pass breakups and 2 fumble recoveries. Pitt, PSU, and Michigan showing heavy interest.
  32. Jon Krohe - OL - Irwin, PA (Norwin HS) 6-5/280, 5.00. Pitt and WVU, among others, are interested. Excellent athlete for his size, moves very well. He was at Pitt's junior day. Outstanding strength, benches 335 and squats 500.
  33. Adam DiMichele - QB – (Sto-Rox HS) 6-1/180. Fantastic 3-sport star. Outstanding QB. Led his team to 2nd place. Finished in the WPIAL and PIAA championships in basketball. Excellent baseball player also. Adam is a three-year starter who was the WPIAL’s regular season passing leader and finished with 2,318 yards and 23 touchdowns in 11 games. Adam was named to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Terrific 25 football team as a junior.
  34. Quincy Rain - OL- Harrisburgh, PA (Bishop McDevitt HS) 6-5/290, 4.97. 1st Team All-Conference defensive lineman as a junior. Will play offensive line in college. Pitt, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia and Ohio State have shown interest.

Brian Gold
PittInsiders.com


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 -by PantherDigest.com  May 14, 2003
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