2014 WPIAL Pre-Camp Player Evaluations
Posted March 12, 2013 12:13 am
Finestpreps.com has been working hard to provide you guys with the best prospect news and information. To follow up our Wpial Top Prospect list, we decided to do pre-camp evaluations on all 56 players we listed on our prospect list. These evaluations were based off of the player’s film and what we thought about them when we saw them play live. This evaluation list will be updated throughout the year. Enjoy.
1) Shai McKenzie – RB – Washington High: McKenzie is arguably the most dominant force in the state. He displays great speed, vision, and power that will translate well even in his early years in college. With Shai being 6 foot 215 pounds running a 4.4 forty-time laser tested, you can imagine how much force it takes to bring a player of that magnitude to the ground. He is everything you want in a power back. Shai holds offers from the Big 10, MAC, ACC, Big East, Big 12 and SEC. McKenzie looks to have a record breaking senior year and will be one of the most highly touted prospects in the Northeast region.
2) Dravon Henry – CB – Aliquippa: The biggest playmaker in the WPIAL this year is Aliquippa’s own Dravon Henry. Henry excels on the defensive side of the ball as a defensive back where he is the WPIAL’s best shutdown defensive back. With great backpedal speed and the ability to read developing routes, quarterbacks should shy away from Henry’s part of the field. Henry just doesn’t do it on defense though; he is also picking up a few offers to play running back in college. Offensively Henry can go the distance on any given play using his speed, quickness, and vision to get him into the endzone. He also is a great pass catcher. Dravon can do it all and he already is a guy known on the national recruiting stage.
3) Alex Bookser – OL/DL – Mount Lebanon: Bookser, like Dravon Henry, is also getting scholarships on both sides of the ball. We prefer Bookser on defense as we think he will excel at the next level best on the defensive side of the ball. Being so fast off the ball, Bookser pretty much lives in the offense’s backfield. Bookser is probably the fastest lineman off the ball in the WPIAL and has the ability to read and make a play all while being engaged in contact. Bookser offers are stating to climb but look for him to become a highly touted blue-chip prospect more into the summer.
4) Harry Randall – S – Woodland Hills: Randall can throw the ball, catch the ball, run the ball, return punts, and play safety. Randall is a freak athlete who is flying way under the radar this year because of an injury last year, and the fact that he didn’t go to many camps to get his name out. He has the size, speed, and is a straight ball hawk. He will most likely translate best as safety into college because of his combination of coverage and the ability to hit. Randall’s recruitment is sure to pick up, as he is next in line to be a major blue-chip recruit from Woodland Hills
5) Montae Nicholson – S – Gateway: Nicholson is probably the best coverage safety we have in the WPIAL. Players aren’t likely to get over the top on Gateway with Nicholson as the last line of defense. Nicholson is an adequate enough tackler to step into a college program as a freshman and possibly earn some playing time either as an extra DB or on special teams. Nicholson has offers from just about every major conference in the nation including the SEC and PAC-12. Look for Nicholson to be going to a national contending school.
6) Mike Grimm – OL – Bethel Park: Grimm is a punishing force that bullies kids in the WPIAL. Grimm is a great in both pass blocking and run blocking and is the cornerstone on the Bethel Park line. Grimm did great at the Army All-American combine and his recruitment has picked up since and looks as though it wont stop until he commits.
7) Chase Winovich – OLB – Thomas Jefferson: Winovich is Thomas Jefferson’s next blue chip prospect. Winovich has the size, speed, and strength that colleges love. He is best off the blitz and getting to the quarterback but he can also play great in coverage as he used to play safety. Look for his offers to continue to climb during camp season.
8) JJ Cosentino – QB – Pittsburgh Central Catholic: Cosentino is the WPIAL’s most complete and college-ready quarterback. J.J. has the size, arm strength, and poise in the pocket to get him great offers alone, but the thing we love most about him is his athleticism. Cosentino has the ability to put the offense on his back and lead his Vikings down the field. He can drop dimes down the field or throw into a closing window as he has the arm strength and accuracy to get it where he needs it to go. As of now he only has two offers but look for this number to make a massive jump during passing camp season.
9) Chandler Kincade – QB – Blackhawk: Kincade has the strongest arm in the WPIAL and has been committed to Pitt since his sophomore year. Kincade has been currently picking up for offers but his recruitment hasn’t necessary been “hot” because he is already committed. We’d like to see Kincade be a little more consistent when he plays against other high end talent as he sometimes relies a bit too much on his arm strength. Chandler is a tough prospect and one of the better offensive players in the WPIAL.
10) Troy Apke – WR – Mount Lebanon: Apke has speed for days. Troy is a one cut, plant foot in the ground and go type of player. Arguably the fastest player in the WPIAL, Apke blows by all the defenders on his highlight tape. Apke gets behind most corners he faces using his speed, but he also makes a living off of screens and sweeps. He is multi-dimensional player who can straight ball out. Recruitment has just started to pick up for him as he has just started receiving offers. Apke and Bookser look to lead Mt. Lebanon this year, and if both stay healthy, look for Lebo to make a long playoff push.
11) Anthony Davis – ATH – Gateway: Davis is a prospect that we feel has the ability and athleticism to crack the top 5 of this list, but we would like to see him during passing camps to fully understand just how great he is. Davis has one of the best offer lists in the WPIAL. He is a lock down corner that can come up and punish a runningback off of a block. Gateway has arguably the best defensive backfield in the Northeast region and Davis is a major reason why.
12) Jaleel Fields – DL – Aliquippa: Fields is another great interior lineman the WPIAL has to offer. He was the inside force on Aliquippa’s state runner-up season last year. We like him on the defenseive side of the ball where he just disrupts everything. He is a great pass rusher and has the speed to get into the backfield even when lined up inside but he is an even better run stuffer who will punish a ball carrier. As of now he has an offer from Temple but he looks like he will start to pick some more up soon.
13) Brock Boxen – DL – Beaver Falls: Brock Boxen reminds us a lot like Mt Lebo’s Alex Bookser. Like Bookser, he is very quick off the ball and can shed blocks to make tackles in the backfield. He isn’t a bad pass rusher but being an interior lineman he is better at stuffing the run game. He looks to get recruited solely on the defensive side of the ball. He has a few offers as f now, his biggest probably coming from Pitt, but he will probably start picking up more soon.
14) Lenny Williams – ATH – Sto-Rox: Lenny is probably the best dual-threat quarterback in the WPIAL. He can make plays using his feet at any given moment in a game. He’s an adequate enough passer to be able to play QB in college as he can fit the ball in tight/closing windows. He is also getting looked at for defensive back. Defensively he has a knack for always being around the ball. Being a QB, it shows that Lenny knows how to read and react to an offensive play and that seems to help him a lot as he can create turnovers by reading plays. Lenny has a few scholarship offers as of now and his recruitment will only pick up more during camp season.
15) Delvon Randall – ATH – Gateway: Delvon plays both ways for his Gateway Gators. Defensively, he is a corner that can lock up any receiver that opposes him with his size. He also plays inside the box some for the Gators, as he is not scared to stick his nose in the middle of a pile and make a tackle. Offensively, he is a possession guy that can make the first defender miss in order for him to get yards after the catch. He already has a few offers, but camp season is where we will really see how great of a player he actually is.
16) Terry Swanson – RB – Aliquippa: Swanson is Aliquippa’s second head of the two-headed monster in the backfield (Dravon Henry being the 1st). Swanson runs with speed, power and vision that will make him excel at the next level. Terry is the go to guy during short yardage situations and at the goal line. He also can come out of the backfield and contribute in the receiving game. He is a nightmare to get down in the open field, as he is a lot bigger (mass wise) than defensive backs and he has the speed to get around them or the power to go through them. Swanson is a bit of a sleeper as of now, though he holds a few offers, look for Swanson to blow up bigger during his senior year.
17) Malik Hooker – ATH – New Castle: Hooker is probably the best all around athlete the WPIAL has to offer this year as he is getting looks to play both football and basketball. Hooker is a playmaker on offense as he uses his speed and quickness to get open as a receiver and uses his leaping ability to go up and high point the football during a jump ball situation. We like Hooker best on defense as he can stay with the best receivers stride for stride. He also has the ability to get off of a block and create a force point and make a defensive stop by making a tackle. Hooker holds one offer from Buffalo but look for his recruitment to start heating up soon.
18) Ricky Rogers – WR – Gateway: Rogers is one of the few WPIAL prospects already committed. He has a verbal pledge to WVU. Rogers excels at getting behind defenses. He made a living on “go” routes last year for Gateway and it helped that Thomas Woodson had the arm to get him the ball 50 yards down field. Rogers can improve on his route running and hands a little bit in order to move up in the rankings but he is still one of the best pass catchers the WPIAL has to offer.
19) Justice Rawlins – MLB – Monessen: Justice plays both offensively and defensively for his Greyhounds. We like Rawlins as a linebacker. He has a bigger frame and uses his size to his advantage. He is very tough to block and is a great run stopper and pass rusher. He has enough speed to chase down opposing running backs. In order for him to move up in our rankings, we first want to see how he does in coverage at pass camps. Justice has a few offers already, biggest probably coming from Pitt and looks to receive a few more.
20) Kahlil Caracter – ATH – Freedom: Caracter is one of the more underrated WPIAL prospects as of now coming from Freedom high school. Caracter is a small “scat” back who excels when he gets the ball in space. He is one of the hardest people in the WPIAL to tackle in the open field. He demonstrates great speed, quickness, and vision for a runningback and can also catch the ball out of the backfield. He doesn’t hold an offer as of now but many teams are showing interest.
21) Jim Wheeler – RB – West Mifflin: Wheeler is with Mt. Lebonan’s Troy Apke when regarding speed. Wheeeler possesses great speed and can burn a defense and go to daylight on any given play. Wheeler doesn’t hold any offers as of now but that will most likely change, as his speed alone should get him a scholarship. Look for Wheeler to have another big year for the Titans.
22) Jarred Brevard – RB – Shadyside Academy: Brevard is a force coming out of Shadyside high school. He runs with great power between the tackles and is very difficult to bring down. He possesses great speed for his size also. After going to a Nike Sparq training camp, he finished ranked in the top 20 out of 1200 athletes according to the Nike Sparq rating. He is an athletic freak whos recruitment should start to heat up soon.
23) Elijiah Zeise – CB – North Allegheny: Zeise is a big corner that can lock up any player that lines up against him because of his size. He was a major contributor on both sides of the ball for North Allegheny’s state championship season last year. In order for Zeise to move up the board we would like to see him demonstrate his speed and play step with step with the receiver. He holds a few offers as of now from Pitt, Temple, and Arizona.
24) Brenon Thrift – DE/OLB – Gateway: Thrift is a guy you can possibly see climb the rankings into the top 10-15. He has the size and body stature scouts rave about. He can play defensive end or outside linebacker. He is great at reading plays then shedding the block to tackle the ball carrier. He is also a great pass rusher. Thrift has some high end offers already including some from Pitt, West Virginia, and it is rumored Michigan has offered also. If Thrift has a great senior year more teams are sure to offer.
25) Brendan Blair – ATH – Sto-Rox: Blair can play on both sides of the ball well enough to play at a division 1 college. Offensively, he is a bruising back with enough speed to make him a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. He also can read blocks very well, which helps him out as he runs inside a lot. Defensively, Blair creates opportunities for his offense by forcing fumbles. The ball always seems to bounce Blair’s way for him to create a turnover. Blair also can stuff a run play well. Blair has just started to receive scholarship offers and just like his teammate Lenny Williams his recruitment will continue to rise into camp season.
26) Trevon Mathis – DB – Woodland Hills: Trevon Mathis is another Woodland Hills DB that has also been flying under the radar a bit. Mathis is a straight playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. He does great at reading the quarterback and coming across the field from his safety position to make a play. With a good camp season Trevon can start to gain some serious attention.
27) JaQuan Davidson – ATH – Elizabeth Forward: JaQuan is a guy that can do it all for Elizabeth Forward. As of now he is a good qb but he’s a great athlete and we think he’ll translate best at receiver as he is pretty shifty for his size and can get open downfield or make people miss. We are still learning on what JaQuan can do and will bring you more info on him as we continue to evaluate him.
28) Luigi Lista-Brinza – RB – Pittsburgh Central Catholic: Luigi is a guy that is athletic enough to do whatever you tell him to do. He will run inside the tackles and outside and gets north fast. He doesn’t have great speed but it is good enough to get him into college. Luigi makes up for this with quickness and stellar vision. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and is a good route runner. If he puts up a great senior year, look for him to be on the rise on this list.
29) Jay Morrison – S – Baldwin: Morrison is probably our favorite safety of this recruiting class for his ability to knock a running back out. Morrison runs downhill from his safety position to make tackles and delivers some of the hardest hits you’ll see from a high school safety his size. He also has an uncanny ability to create turnovers and get his offense on the field by forcing fumbles. In coverage he has the speed to get across the field to make a play on the receiver possessing the ball.
30) Javon Brown – ATH – Monessen: Javon Brown is a quick shifty back that can play running back or in the slot. He has speed and quickness to make people miss 1 on 1 and the shiftiness to make multiple people miss in traffic. Schools have been showing interest but he has yet to receive an offer. If he does well in camp season he will probably start receiving offers.
31) Donovan Cobb – TE – Aliquippa: Cobb is a dominating tight end who punishes opponents when blocking them. He is a major reason why Aliquippa had two 1,000-yard rushers last year. He is an athletic tight end also so pass catching is not a problem for him, but we like him best as a run blocker for his knack of pancaking defensive ends and linebackers.
32) Niko Thorpe – MLB – Pittsburgh Central Catholic: Thorpe is a punishing linebacker that will lay you out. He is best at stopping the run in the middle. He is good enough in pass coverage to not make him a liability in college. Recruitment has been somewhat slow for Thorpe but if he shows out during camp season he might just pick up an offer.
33) Nate Stone – OLB – Greensburg Central Catholic: Stone is a kid we really like and we think his recruitment is going to start to pick up. He looks best fitted to play middle linebacker. He is good in pass coverage for a middle linebacker and has adequate hands. Stone is a collision guy. When he hits, he tries to lay people out. Look for Stone to be on the rise.
34) Dennis Briggs – ATH – Shadyside Academy: Like his teammate Jared Brevard, Briggs also competed in the Nike Sparq combine and finished in the top 20 of 1200 athletes. Dennis looks to play running back or receiver in college. He is very shifty and hard to tackle. Combined with Brevard, Shadyside has a nice “smash-and-dash” in the backfield that could be a nightmare for defensive coordinators.
35) Chase Keller – QB – Greensburgh Central Catholic: Keller is a tall, atheletic quarterback who is mobile enough to make the defense put a spy on him. Listed at 6’4 200 lbs, Chase has the size to go to a 1A college to play football. He throws the ball with nice touch and accuracy. If he can throw well at passing camps, don’t be surprised if he comes away with a scholarship offer.
36) Jade Maher – QB – Connellsvile: Maher has the height and pocket presence to make him a legitimate recruit. He puts nice touch on the ball when throwing deep and hits his receivers in stride. If Maher can show out at passing camps this season, look for him to receive his first scholarship and move up in our rankings.
37) Eddie Edwards – WR – Hampton: Edwards is a guy who is a straight playmaker. He is a possession receiver who can catch the ball and get away from defenders to get into the endzone. He can use power to shrug off defenders after the catch or his quickness and juke them to get them out of his way. He also can go up and get the ball. He has potential to break in the top 25 on this list and we’ll be keeping a close eye on him all year long.
38) Jake Sweitzer – TE – Belle Vernon: Sweitzer is a player that can climb this list if he puts together a nice camp season. He is solid in the blocking game and can pass block when you need him to. Receiving wise he is not a liability and is a good possession receiver. If he can get a little bit faster and start breaking his first down grabs into touchdown grabs, Sweitzer could definitely be a guy that could move into the top 25.
39) Clintell Gillaspie – WR – Monesson: Clintell is Monesson’s possession receiver. He can get behind a defense but he is more of a catch and make somebody miss type of guy. He is a big guy and controls the opposing defensive back. Schools are showing interest but he hasn’t received his first offer as of now. Look for all of the Monesson boys to hit the camp circuit and try to get their names further out.
40) Joe Roback – G – Gateway: Roback is another recruit that Gateway has stockpiled this year. He anchors down the offensive line at his guard spot and is a key contributor in the run game. Roback has been getting early interest from schools but nothing appears to be too serious.
41) Justin Watson – WR – South Fayette: Watson reminds us a lot of his former teammate and now Pitt player Zach Challingsworth. He has the speed to get behind the defense but he is more of a possession guy that will catch the ball, turn north and outrun everybody else. He looks to have a huge year for his South Fayette Lions as he will be the go to man for Bret Brumbaugh. If he does well at passing camps he should start to possibly receive some offers.
42) Brandon Bowman – FB – Charleroi: Bowman plays both fullback and linebacker fro Charleroi but we like him best at the fullback position. He is a big, punishing fullback that loves hitting. He possesses the size, and strength that colleges would like to see on a highlight tape.
43) Ryan Gumbita – QB – Mt. Pleasant: Gumbita is a pocket passer who demonstrates nice accuracy when inside the pocket, but he is above average when outside of the pocket throwing also. His strength is his arm strength and the touch he has when throwing deep. Gumbita is a big guy at 6’4 205, colleges wont be able to ignore him for long. He looks to be a guy that makes a surge later during the year on this list.
44) Joey Brungo – WR – Kiski: Brungo is a nice pass catcher with reliable hands. He can make a defender miss after the catch even though he isn’t the quickest/shiftiest receiver out there. Brungo is a bit under-recruited but with a nice camp season that can change.
45) Connor Shinsky – DE – Knoch: Shinsky has great size at 6’6 and has the stature to put on some more weight (currently 245). Plays great at defensive as he uses his strength to penetrate into the backfield to make plays. Speed is not a concern with him also, as he can track down a back running opposite to where he is lined up. Shinsky is a big guy who shows great flashes of being a nice D1 prospect. His recruitment could start to heat up during his senior year.
46) Corey Pinkerton – OL – Steel Valley: Pinkerton is a big kid that uses his size to control the opposing defenders. He is a better pass blocker as of now. If he could get a little bit faster look for him to go on the rise
47) Cam Sutherland – WR – Pittsburgh Central Catholic: Sutherland is a guy we feel that has the ability to climb this prospect rankings list and crack the top 20. Cam is a tall, rangey receiver who can go up and make plays for his quarterback. He is a bit raw still as a receiver but he possesses all of the tools to make him capable of playing at a division 1 college such as speed, size, athleticism, quickness, and possesses great hands. Once again he is still very raw in these areas. Keep an eye out for Cam as his senior year approaches.
48) Chase Caldwell – ATH – Washington High: Being a teammate of Shai McKenzie, Caldwell gets overlooked when talking about Washington High. He can make some catches as a receiver for the Prexies but we like him as a linebacker. He is one of the surest tackles on the team and can get through a block to make a tackle.
49) Zach Deluca – DE – Pittsburgh Central Catholic: Deluca is a multi sport star at Central Catholic. Off the football field, Deluca id a great wrestler as well. Deluca excels at creating havoc. He is great at going through blocks to tackle a ball carrier. He can also be engaged with the offensive lineman and read the play to make a tackle. Look for Deluca’s recruitment to pick up during the season.
50) Jordan Pratt – WR – Uniontown: Jordan Pratt is a kid we still need to keep looking at. He is a smooth route runner and can make a guy miss after catching the ball by using his shiftiness. We like Jordan as of now as more of a possession guy but he can get behind a defense when he has to.
51) Shafer Swann – WR – Pittsburgh Central Catholic: Shafer is another Central receiver that has a lot of raw talent but isn’t developed to his full potential yet. His bright spot is his size and speed. Shafer has a knack of getting behind defenses and excels best as an outside receiver. If he can put together a nice camp season colleges should start showing heavy interest
52) Allan Cratsenberg – MLB – Highlands: Cratzenburgh is a tough kid who is a great run stopper with great size. He has great strength and a loves contact. The only knock on him is he tackles a little bit high for our likings. Teams are starting to show interest but he has no offers as of now
53) Zach Carney – ATH – Shaler: Carney is a shifty receiver who plays best in the slot. He has a small stature but that can come to an advantage, as he tends to make guys miss. He is an athletic kid who can make plays when it looks as though the ball is thrown poorly. Don’t be surprised if he can go division 2 or 1AA by the end of his senior year.
54) Hunter Steel – OL – Chartiers Valley: Steel is a big guy that can move well. We like him best run blocking at his guard position but he is a good pass blocker as well. Colleges have shown him a little bit of interest as of now, but if he puts on more weight and plays great his senior year, he could very well be a great sleeper.
55) Shane Kuhn – TE – Kiski: Kuhn is a great wrestler for Kiski as well. He can play TE and DE and he is very physical with the opposition. Offensively he needs to start breaking longer plays to move up the list but he is best engaging with people on both sides of the ball.
*Evaluations done by Karlo Zovko. Contact: Zovko@finestpreps.com*