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WANNSTEDT ANNOUNCES PITT'S 2006 RECRUITING CLASS




During the past 12 months the recruiting efforts of Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff have earned national recognition from various scouting services, recruiting experts and even SportsIllustrated.com, which listed Wannstedt as one of the nation's 10 best recruiters.

 

Wannstedt was able to officially welcome the Panthers' 2006 recruiting class this week by receiving National Letters of Intent from 26 players. The group is already earning praise as one of the nation's top recruiting classes and Pitt's best class since the late 1980s.

 

"It is our goal to build a top 10 football program at the University of Pittsburgh," Wannstedt said. "For us to reach that level it is important that our first full recruiting class provide a strong foundation for future success, both on and off the field. Building a championship program is a process and the first step in that process is bringing in the right type of people who are committed students and athletes. I believe this group fits that mold."

 

Pitt's recruiting arm stretched to six different states and lured some highly decorated talent. The Panthers' Class of 2006 includes:

 

·   Fourteen players from Pennsylvania, including 10 from the WPIAL. Eleven of those players were named first team all-state this year.

 

·   The Pennsylvania Player of the Year in both Class AAA (West Allegheny's Dorin Dickerson) and Class A (Duquesne's Elijah Fields).

 

·   Three players who ranked among the nation's Top 100 recruits by at least one scouting service,

   including tight end Nate Byham, defensive lineman Jason Pinkston and Dickerson.

 

·   Five players from the talent-rich state of Florida, including first team all-state defensive back

   Ricky Gary.

 

·   Two first team all-state performers from Ohio, including defensive back Jovani Chappel and

   offensive lineman Joe Thomas.

 

·   Two of New York's premier players in running back Kevin Collier and defensive lineman McKenzie Mathews.

 

·   Two highly regarded junior college prospects - offensive lineman Jeff Otah and JUCO All-

   America defensive back Lowell Robinson.

 

 

 

2006 Pitt Football Recruits

 

Name                           Pos.        Ht.           Wt.       Hometown/High School/Prep School

Aaron Berry                   DB           5-11         175       Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt

 

Nate Byham                  TE           6-3           215       Polk, Pa./Franklin

 

Jovani Chappel*             DB           5-8           175       Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison

 

Kevin Collier                  RB           5-11         180       Rochester, N.Y./Churchville-Chili

 

Scott Corson                 OL           6-5           280       Johnstown, Pa./Greater Johnstown

 

Dexter Davidson             QB          6-4           220       Boca Raton, Fla./North Broward Prep

 

Dorin Dickerson             WR          6-2           200       Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny

 

Elijah Fields                  WR          6-2           210       Duquesne, Pa./Duquesne

 

Ricky Gary                    DB           5-9           175       Pahokee, Fla./Pahokee

 

Justin Hargrove              DL           6-4           245       Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin

 

Kevin Hughes*               OL           6-3           280       Allendale, N.J./Northern Highlands

 

Dan Loheyde                 LB           6-0           200       Verona, Pa./Gateway

 

John Malecki                 DL           6-3           270       Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional

 

Jared Martin                  DL           6-2           290       Davie, Fla./Western

 

McKenzie Mathews        DL           6-2           225       Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy

 

Nate Nix                        LB           6-3           210       Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson

 

Jeff Otah                       OL           6-6           340       New Castle, Del./William Penn H.S./

                                                                              Valley Forge Military Academy

 

Jason Pinkston              DL           6-4           280       Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin

Tamarcus Porter            WR          6-1           185       West Palm Beach, Fla./Pahokee

Lowell Robinson             DB           6-0           195       Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon H.S./

                                                                              Erie Community College

 

Greg Romeus                DL           6-5           230       Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Glades

 

Aaron Smith                  WR          6-0           180       Monroeville, Pa./Gateway

 

Kevan Smith                  QB          6-3           215       Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley

 

Joe Thomas                   OL           6-5           285       Parma, Ohio/St. Edward

 

Tyler Tkach                   DL           6-3           230       Slatington, Pa./Northern Lehigh

 

Greg Webster                LB           6-1           235       North Braddock, Pa./Woodland Hills

 

*enrolled January `06

 

 

 

 

2006 Pitt Recruiting Class Breakdown

 

By Position:

 

Defensive Linemen -- 7 (Justin Hargrove, John Malecki, Jared Martin, McKenzie Mathews, Jason Pinkston, Greg Romeus, Tyler Tkach)

 

Running Backs --1 (Kevin Collier)

 

Offensive Linemen -- 4 (Scott Corson, Kevin Hughes, Jeff Otah, Joe Thomas)

 

Linebackers -- 3 (Dan Loheyde, Nate Nix, Greg Webster)

 

Wide Receivers -- 4 (Dorin Dickerson, Elijah Fields, Tamarcus Porter, Aaron Smith)

 

Defensive Backs -- 4 (Aaron Berry, Jovani Chappel, Ricky Gary, Lowell Robinson)

 

Quarterbacks -- 2 (Dexter Davidson, Kevan Smith)

 

Tight Ends -- 1 (Nate Byham)

 

 

 

By State:

 

Pennsylvania -- 14 (DB Aaron Berry, TE Nate Byham, OL Scott Corson, WR Dorin Dickerson, WR Elijah Fields, DL Justin Hargrove, LB Dan Loheyde, DL John Malecki, LB Nate Nix, DL Jason Pinkston, WR Aaron Smith, QB Kevan Smith, DL Tyler Tkach, LB Greg Webster)

 

Florida -- 5 (QB Dexter Davidson, DB Ricky Gary, DL Jared Martin, WR Tamarcus Porter, DL Greg Romeus)

 

Ohio -- 2 (DB Jovani Chappel, OL Joe Thomas)

 

New York -- 3 (RB Kevin Collier, DL McKenzie Mathews, DB Lowell Robinson)

 

New Jersey -- 1 (OL Kevin Hughes)

 

Delaware -- 1 (OL Jeff Otah)

 

 

Aaron Berry, DB, 5-11, 175, Harrisburg, Pa., Bishop McDevitt

Standout defensive back and receiver who ranks as one of the fastest players in the state...named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAAA All-State Team (first team)...averaged over 19 yards per catch as a senior with 67 receptions for 1,278 yards and 21 touchdowns...at cornerback had eight interceptions, returning three for TDs...averaged 13.3 yards per punt return (25 attempts for 333 yards) and 21.3 per kick return (three for 64)...led team to a 13-1 record, the District 3/6 Class AAAA championship and the semifinals of the PIAA playoffs...Bishop McDevitt reached as high as No. 6 in USA Today's national high school rankings...despite missing five games his junior year due to a shoulder injury, averaged 24.1 yards per catch with 32 receptions for 771 yards and seven touchdowns...also had four interceptions...led team to a 10-3 mark and the district title...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"... PrepStar All-American...rated as the nation's No. 22 cornerback and Pennsylvania's No. 17 overall prospect by Rivals.com...rated one of the top 80 players in the East Region by Scout.com...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...played under Coach Jeff Weachter

 

Nate Byham, TE, 6-3, 215, Polk, Pa., Franklin

Considered the nation's top tight end by Scout.com...rated a national Top 100 recruit by Tom Lemming, Scout.com and Scouts, Inc....selected a U.S. Army All-American and played in the All-American Bowl, an all-star game featuring the nation's top 78 high school players at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas...named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team) as a senior...became only the third player in Franklin history to earn first team all-state...set Franklin career records for receptions (86), receiving yards (1,544) and touchdown catches (17)...had 45 catches for 883 yards (19.6 avg.) and nine touchdowns as a senior...his receiving yardage and TD catches set school single-season records...as a junior had 41 receptions for 661 yards (16.1 avg.) and eight touchdowns...a three-year starter at Franklin and four-year letterman...also was a standout linebacker and compiled nearly 200 tackles over his final two seasons...earned All-Region 5-AAA on both sides of the ball as a junior and senior...a two-time Erie Times-News All-District 10 selection at tight end...led team to three district playoff berths...Byham's No. 20 jersey was retired by Franklin...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...PrepStar All-American...rated the nation's No. 28 overall prospect by Scout.com, No. 39 by Tom Lemming and No. 68 by Scouts, Inc....rated the No. 6 overall prospect in the East Region by Scout.com...Rivals.com rated him the nation's No. 7 tight end and No. 12 overall prospect in Pennsylvania...named to the "ESPN 150," a listing of the nation's top 150 recruits (rated No. 68)...played under Coach Dave Smith.

                         

Jovani Chappel, DB, 5-8, 175, Trotwood, Ohio, Trotwood-Madison

A December high school graduate who enrolled at Pitt in January...will participate in spring drills...first team All-Ohio Division II performer as a senior at Trotwood-Madison, where he was a four-year starter...first team All-Southwest Ohio...first team Dayton Daily News Division I-II All-Area...had 91 tackles, three interceptions - including one returned for a touchdown - and three fumble recoveries as a senior...compiled nearly 960 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...PrepStar All-American...rated one of the nation's top 35 cornerback prospects by Scout.com...rated one of the top 45 prospects in the Midwest Region by Scout.com...rated Ohio's No. 20 overall prospect and the nation's No. 37 cornerback by Rivals.com...played under Coach Maurice Douglass, a former member of the Chicago Bears who played for Dave Wannstedt.

 

 

 Kevin Collier, RB, 5-11, 180, Rochester, N.Y., Churchville-Chili

Highly recruited prospect who was the top running back in the state of New York...averaged 215.8 rushing yards per game as a senior...rushed for 1,942 yards and 20 touchdowns his final year, averaging 7.7 yards per carry...rushed for an incredible 904 yards the final three games of his senior season (301.3 yards per game)...over his final two seasons, had 10 200-yard rushing games and three 300-yard rushing games, including 352-, 374- and 387-yard performances...his 387-yard game set a Churchville-Chili High record...scored a touchdown on his first varsity carry as a freshman and then again on his final carry as a senior...rushed for 40 touchdowns over his final two seasons...set the Section V career rushing record with 5,402 yards...first team All-New York Class AA...two-time Section V Offensive Player of the Year...2005 Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year...two-time first team All-Greater Rochester...PrepStar All-American...rated among the nation's top 20 running back prospects by Rivals.com (No. 15) and Scout.com (No. 18)... rated New York's No. 3 overall prospect by Rivals.com...rated one of the top 50 prospects in the East Region by Scout.com...played under Coach Paul Dick.

 

Scott Corson, OL, 6-5, 280, Johnstown, Pa., Greater Johnstown

One of the state's top lineman prospects...named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team) as a senior...is the second Greater Johnstown product to sign with Pitt in as many years...was a teammate of Pitt sophomore tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling in 2004, when the pair helped the Trojans to their first District 6 Class AAA title and a 9-3 record...Corson was a two-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines at Greater Johnstown...as a senior played offensive guard, defensive end and defensive tackle...compiled 90 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a senior...had a combined 169 tackles his final two years...Johnstown Tribune-Democrat first team All-Area...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"... PrepStar All-East Region...rated one of the top 50 prospects in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com...played under Coach Bob Arcurio.

 

Dexter Davidson, QB, 6-4, 220, Boca Raton, Fla., North Broward Prep

Two-time All-Florida Class 2B quarterback...finished his career as the most prolific passer in Broward County history...set Broward passing records for career yards (6,011), touchdowns (78), completions (329) and attempts (537)...also holds county records for touchdown passes in a game (seven) and season (40)...two-time first team All-Broward County...South Florida Sun-Sentinel "Super 11"...selected to play in the prestigious Nike Dade-Broward County All-Star Classic...PrepStar All-Southeast Region...rated the nation's No. 32 pro-style quarterback and one of the top 70 players in Florida by Rivals.com...played under Coach Maurice Dixon.

 

 

Dorin Dickerson, WR, 6-2, 200, Oakdale, Pa., West Allegheny

One of the most diverse talents in Pennsylvania...proved to be a threat whether he lined up at receiver, running back, quarterback, defensive back or kick returner...a consensus Top 100 recruit by the scouting services...named The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA Player of the Year following his senior season...was a two-time first team Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State selection...selected a U.S. Army All-American and played in the All-American Bowl, an all-star game featuring the nation's top 78 high school players at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas...led the WPIAL with 36 total touchdowns his senior year...as a running back, rushed for 1,429 yards on 182 carries (7.9 avg.) and scored 30 touchdowns...also had 22 receptions for 423 yards (19.2 avg.) with six TDs and intercepted four passes...as a junior, rushed for 1,065 yards and 13 touchdowns, while catching 25 passes for 517 yards (20.7 avg.) and eight TDs...three-year starter at West Allegheny, helping the Indians to three WPIAL Class AAA playoff berths and a combined 26-8 mark (.765)...was the 2006 recipient of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association's Mercury Award, annually presented to the top high school football player in Western Pennsylvania...Dickerson was presented the award by Pitt legends Tony Dorsett and Bill Fralic at the PAA's annual banquet...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Player of the Year...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette WPIAL Class AAA Player of the Year...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAA...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"...Keystone Recruiting's Pennsylvania Class AAA Player of the Year and WPIAL Player of the Year...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...rated the nation's No. 35 prospect by Scout.com, No. 74 by Scouts, Inc., No. 79 by Tom Lemming, No. 82 by PrepStar and No. 85 by Rivals.com...nation's No.4 receiver by Scout.com...rated the nation's No. 8 "athlete" and Pennsylvania's No. 6 prospect by Rivals.com...rated the No. 11 prospect in the East Region by Scout.com...SuperPrep All-American...PrepStar "Dream Team"...named to the "ESPN 150," a listing of the nation's top 150 recruits (rated No. 74)...played under Coach Bob Palko...joins fellow West Allegheny products Tyler Palko, a senior quarterback, and C.J. Davis, a sophomore offensive lineman, at Pitt.

 

Elijah Fields, WR, 6-2, 210, Duquesne, Pa., Duquesne

Dynamic receiver and defensive back who earned statewide acclaim for his ability to make big plays on offense, defense and special teams...averaged 18.5 yards every time he touched the ball...accounted for 31 touchdowns and more than 2,000 all-purpose yards as a senior...touchdowns averaged 49 yards in length...scored TDs five different ways in 2005...named The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class A Player of the Year...first team Associated Press Pennsylvania Class A All-State...first 1,000-yard receiver in Duquesne history with 42 receptions for 1,167 yards and 18 touchdowns...averaged an amazing 27.8 yards per catch...scored a TD once every 2.3 catches...also averaged nearly 12 yards per carry, rushing for 704 yards and five TDs on 59 attempts...on defense had 10 interceptions and returned two picks and one fumble recovery for touchdowns...scored on punt returns of 83, 74, 71, 66 and 51 yards...led Duquesne to a 14-1 record, the WPIAL Class A championship and a berth in the state title game...in a first-round WPIAL playoff game against Jefferson-Morgan, scored four different ways (rush, catch, interception and fumble recovery) to lead Duquesne to a 49-0 victory...topped that performance by scoring five TDs in a 48-7 quarterfinal win over Bentworth...led Duquesne to a combined 21-5 mark (.808) his final two years with two WPIAL playoff berths...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Player of the Year...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"... Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class A...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette WPIAL Class A Player of the Year...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"... Keystone Recruiting's Pennsylvania Class A Player of the Year...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...PrepStar All-East Region...rated the nation's No. 10 safety by Scout.com...rated the No. 39 prospect in the East Region by Scout.com...rated the No. 18 prospect in Pennsylvania and the nation's No. 23 safety by Rivals.com...played under Coach Pat Monroe...joins fellow Duquesne product Shane Brooks, a redshirt freshman running back, at Pitt.

 

 Ricky Gary, DB, 5-9, 175, Pahokee, Fla., Pahokee

Four-year starter for Florida powerhouse Pahokee High...named first team All-Florida Class 2B at defensive back...also garnered first team all-area and all-district...as a senior cornerback, collected 37 tackles and four interceptions, including one pick returned for a touchdown...averaged nearly 17 yards per punt return (287 yards on 17 returns) with one TD...as a running back, averaged 6.3 yards per rush (613 yards on 97 carries) and ran for 11 TDs...led team to a four-year record of 46-6 (.885) and two state championships...Pahokee went 12-2 his senior year and was the Florida Class 2B runner-up...Palm Beach Post "Super 11"...PrepStar All-Southeast Region...rated one of the nation's top 20 cornerback prospects by Scouts, Inc....selected to play in the Outback Steakhouse All-Star Game...played under Coach Leroy Foster.

 

Justin Hargrove, DL, 6-4, 245, Pittsburgh, Pa., Baldwin

Defensive end prospect who played in just one full game as a senior due to injury...had 13 tackles and a sack in less than two full contests played...played diverse roles during his high school career, including linebacker, defensive back, tailback and fullback...as a junior tailback rushed for 186 yards against Mt. Lebanon and 106 against Central Catholic...rated the nation's No. 29 weakside defensive end prospect and Pennsylvania's No. 25 overall prospect by Rivals.com...played under Coach Mike Silianoff...one of two Baldwin products to sign with Pitt this year...defensive lineman Jason Pinkston is the other...Hargrove and Pinkston are the first Baldwin players to choose Pitt since running back Wayne DiBartola in 1977...Coach Dave Wannstedt also graduated from Baldwin (1970) before matriculating to the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Kevin Hughes, OL, 6-3, 280, Allendale, N.J., Northern Highlands

Enrolled at Pitt full-time in January and will have true freshman eligibility for the 2006 season (five years to play four seasons)...will participate in spring drills...named an All-New Jersey offensive lineman by the Star-Ledger (second team) and The Associated Press (third team)...first team All-Bergen County...first team All-Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL)...second team All-North Jersey...also played on the defensive line and was team's long snapper as a senior...did not have a single bad snap...Northern Highlands' team captain...played under Coach Steve Simonetti.

 

Dan Loheyde, LB, 6-0, 200, Verona, Pa., Gateway

Finished his high school career as Gateway's all-time career tackles leader with 288 stops...compiled 108 tackles, four forced fumbles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries as a senior...three-year starter who helped Gateway to three WPIAL playoff berths, two section titles and a combined 27-8 mark (.771) during his varsity career...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAA...two-time first team All-Quad Southwest...team went 7-4 his senior year and 11-2 his junior season, finishing as the WPIAL Class AAAA runner-up... PrepStar All-American...rated the nation's No. 20 inside linebacker by Rivals.com...Rivals.com also rates him the No. 19 overall prospect in Pennsylvania...played under Coach Terry Smith...is one of two Gateway products to sign with Pitt in 2006...receiver Aaron Smith is the other...Pitt linebackers coach Curtis Bray also graduated from Gateway (1988) before matriculating to the University of Pittsburgh.

 

  

John Malecki, DL, 6-3, 270, Murrysville, Pa., Franklin Regional

Dominant performer on both lines of scrimmage for state champion Franklin Regional High in 2005...named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team)...as an offensive guard he helped produce a 2,000-yard rusher and compiled 60 pancake blocks...at defensive tackle he recorded over 100 tackles, including 20 for losses and 14 sacks...led Franklin Regional to a 15-1 record and its first WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA championships...in the state title game against Pottsville, sparked the Panthers to a 23-13 victory with eight tackles and three sacks....started on both sides of the ball for three seasons...his final two years he led Franklin Regional to a combined 22-4 record (.846) and WPIAL playoff berths each season...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Class AAA Player of the Year...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"...rated the nation's No. 18 defensive tackle by Rivals.com and No. 30 by Scout.com...Rivals.com also rates him the No. 22 overall prospect in Pennsylvania...rated one of the top 40 prospects in the East Region by Scout.com... PrepStar All-East Region...played under Coach Greg Botta.

 

Jared Martin, DL, 6-2, 290, Davie, Fla., Western

Defensive line prospect from the talent-rich South Florida region...three-year starter for Florida 5A school on both the offensive and defensive lines...All-Florida Class 5A Honorable Mention...South Florida Sun-Sentinel "Super 11"...All-Broward County...selected to play in the prestigious Nike Dade-Broward County All-Star Classic and the Broward County All-Star Game...led team to two district championships, the first in school history...rated one of the nation's top 85 defensive tackle prospects by Scout.com...played under Coach Doug Dutton.

 

McKenzie Mathews, DL, 6-2, 225, Syracuse, N.Y., Christian Brothers Academy

Highly productive pass rusher who played for one of New York's winningest programs during his high school career...collected 39 sacks his final two seasons, leading Christian Brothers Academy to a 24-1 mark (.960) during that span...first team All-New York Class AA as a senior after collecting 106 tackles, 30 tackles for losses and 26 sacks...was second team all-state as a junior after compiling 45 tackles and 13 sacks...helped team win 24 consecutive games over his final two years...Christian Brothers went 13-0 his junior season, capturing the New York Class AA championship...team went 11-1 his senior year, advancing to the semifinals of the state playoffs...rated the nation's No. 14 weakside defensive end and the No. 5 overall prospect in New York by Rivals.com...rated the nation's No. 27 defensive end by Scout.com...PrepStar All-East Region...played under Coach Joe Casamento

 

Nate Nix, LB, 6-3, 210, Jefferson Hills, Pa., Thomas Jefferson

Highly decorated linebacker who was named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team) as both a senior and junior...compiled over 200 tackles and rushed for over 1,900 yards his final two seasons...as a senior had 88 tackles, four sacks, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions...at running back rushed for 1,037 yards and 11 touchdowns on 142 carries (7.3 avg.)...a three-year starter, Nix led Thomas Jefferson to a 37-5 mark (.881) during that span, including three trips to the WPIAL Class AAA championship game...led team to an 11-2 mark as a senior...his junior year Thomas Jefferson went 14-2 and captured the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA championships...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAA...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"...rated one of the nation's top 30 linebacker prospects by Scout.com...rated one of the top 40 prospects in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com... rated one of the top 60 prospects in the East Region by Scout.com...played under Coach Bill Cherpak, a standout offensive lineman for Pitt from 1985-89.

 

Tamarcus Porter, WR, 6-1, 185, West Palm Beach, Fla., Pahokee

Talented two-way player who could contribute at either receiver or defensive back...named first team All-Florida Class 2B as a utility player...also garnered first team all-area and all-district...as a senior, had 53 receptions for 797 yards (15.0 avg.) and 11 touchdowns...compiled 37 tackles and six interceptions as a free safety...had three punt returns for touchdowns, including scores of 98, 90 and 74 yards... Pahokee went 12-2 his senior year and was the Florida Class 2B runner-up...transferred to Pahokee from Royal Palm Beach High...as a junior at Royal Palm Beach, had 53 tackles, 10 pass breakups and seven interceptions on defense and caught 18 passes for 200 yards (11.1 avg.) and a touchdown on offense...Palm Beach Post "Super 11"...rated one of the top 80 prospects in Florida by Rivals.com...Rivals.com also rated him one of the nation's top 55 "athletes"...PrepStar All-Southeast Region...selected to play in the Outback Steakhouse All-Star Game...is one of two Pahokee players to sign with Pitt this year...defensive back Ricky Gary is the other...played under Pahokee coach Leroy Foster.

 

Jeff Otah, OL, 6-6, 340, New Castle, Del., William Penn H.S., Valley Forge Military Academy (Pa.)

Considered one of the nation's top junior-college offensive line prospects...two-year starter at offensive tackle at Valley Forge Military Academy's two-year college...named Most Valuable Player of the Seaboard Conference...two-time first team All-Seaboard Conference...led Valley Forge to two conference co-championships...played under VFMA coach Jim Burner...also a two-year standout on the basketball team...was averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds in late January for VFMA...will have junior eligibility at Pitt (three years to play two seasons)...rated the nation's No. 26 offensive line prospect by Scout.com...rated the nation's No. 31 junior-college prospect by Rivals.com...graduated from William Penn (Del.) High...played only one season of high school football (his senior year)...played under William Penn coach Bill Cole.

 

Jason Pinkston, DL, 6-4, 280, Pittsburgh, Pa., Baldwin

Heralded defensive line prospect who was named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAAA All-State Team (first team)...considered one of the nation's top 100 prospects by Tom Lemming...compiled 180 tackles over his final two seasons...as a senior had 80 tackles, eight tackles for losses, five fumble recoveries and two sacks...had 100 tackles and six sacks as a junior...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAAA...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"...first team All-Quad East...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...Tom Lemming rates him the nation's No. 69 overall prospect...rated the nation's No. 18 defensive tackle prospect by Scout.com...rated the No. 27 prospect in the East Region by Scout.com...rated Pennsylvania's No. 10 prospect by Rivals.com...Rivals.com also ranks him as one of the top 50 defensive tackle prospects nationally... PrepStar All-American...played under Coach Mike Silianoff...one of two Baldwin products to sign with Pitt this year...defensive lineman Justin Hargrove is the other...Pinkston and Hargrove are the first Baldwin players to choose Pitt since running back Wayne DiBartola in 1977...Coach Dave Wannstedt also graduated from Baldwin (1970) before playing at Pitt.

 

Lowell Robinson, DB, 6-0, 195, Mount Vernon, N.Y., Mount Vernon H.S., Erie Community College

Big-play junior college prospect who earned 2005 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-America honors...led the junior college ranks with three interception returns for touchdowns during the '05 season...ranked fifth nationally in total interceptions with seven...had 46 tackles, seven tackles for losses, three sacks and 13 passes broken up on the year...finished his Erie C.C. career as the school's all-time leader in punt return average (19.9), interceptions (11), interception return yards (325) and interception returns for touchdowns (four)...a two-time Northeast Conference selection at Erie...was the 2005 runner-up for the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year honor...played under Erie coach Denny Greene...rated one of the nation's top five JUCO safety prospects by Scout.com...PrepStar All-East Region.

 

Greg Romeus, DL, 6-5, 230, Coral Springs, Fla., Coral Glades

Intriguing defensive end prospect out of Florida who drew recruiting attention despite playing just one year of high school football...considered a basketball prospect heading into the 2005 season, he went on to earn Coral Glades' Team MVP honor in football...starter at defensive end...also contributed at receiver and had five receptions for 54 yards and a TD...selected to play in the Broward County All-Star Game...played under Coach Rex Nottage.

 

 

Aaron Smith, WR, 6-0, 180, Monroeville, Pa., Gateway

Excelled as a dual-threat quarterback and defensive back at Gateway, where he was named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAAA All-State Team (first team) as a senior...selected one of the top 50 National Players of the Year by Old Spice "Red Zone"...also played wide receiver during his high school career, earning All-Quad Southwest Conference honors at that position his sophomore season...moved to quarterback his final two years...a four-year starter and three-time all-conference selection...compiled 2,271 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior...threw for 1,575 yards and 14 touchdowns, while rushing for 538 yards and five TDs...as a junior he threw for 1,188 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for 510 yards and six TDs...in his four seasons as a starter, helped Gateway to four WPIAL playoff berths, three section titles and a combined 36-10 record (.783)... team went 7-4 his senior year and 11-2 his junior season, finishing as the WPIAL Class AAAA runner-up...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAAA...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"... PrepStar All-American...rated one of the top 15 prospects in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com...Rivals.com also rated him the No. 22 "athlete" nationally...rated one of the nation's top 50 receiver prospects by Scout.com...rated one of the top 70 prospects in the East Region by Scout.com...played under Coach Terry Smith...is one of two Gateway products to sign with Pitt this year...linebacker Dan Loheyde is the other...Pitt linebackers coach Curtis Bray also graduated from Gateway (1988) before matriculating to the University of Pittsburgh.

 

 

Kevan Smith, QB, 6-3, 215, Cranberry Township, Pa., Seneca Valley

Strong-armed quarterback prospect who played in only 12 games his final two seasons due to a wrist injury...still threw for over 2,100 yards in that span...as a senior passed for 1,538 yards eight touchdowns...played in only two games as a junior due to a broken left (non-throwing) wrist...threw for 620 yards and seven touchdowns in those two contests, however...PrepStar All-East Region...rated one of the top 50 prospects in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com...rated one of the nation's top 50 quarterbacks by Scout.com...played under Coach Ron Butschle.

 

Joe Thomas, OL, 6-5, 285, Parma, Ohio, St. Edward

One of the most coveted offensive linemen in Ohio...named to The Associated Press Division I All-Ohio Team (first team)...recorded 68 knockdown blocks as a senior offensive tackle and gave up just a single sack in 13 games...led St. Edward to a 12-1 mark and the semifinals of the Ohio Division I (largest classification) playoffs...selected to The Plain Dealer All-Star Team...Cleveland Browns Charities Cuyahoga County Player of the Year...selected to play in the Ohio North-South Classic...PrepStar All-American...rated the nation's No. 20 offensive lineman by Scout.com....rated the No. 24 prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com...rated the No. 16 prospect in the Midwest Region by Scout.com...played under Coach John Gibbons.

 

 

Tyler Tkach, DL, 6-3, 230, Slatington, Pa., Northern Lehigh

Highly regarded defensive line prospect from the eastern part of the state...named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AA All-State Team (first team) as a senior...was a second-team AP All-State selection his junior year...2005 Pennsylvania Football News Class AA Defensive Player of the Year...2005 Maxwell Football Club Mini Max Award recipient...also a finalist for the Maxwell Football Club's Jim Henry Award, annually presented to the Area High School Player of the Year...first team All-Colonial League at both tight end and defensive end...three-year varsity starter who compiled 221 tackles and 22 sacks during his career...had 63 tackles and seven sacks his senior season...thrived as a blocking tight end and also led the team in receptions (13) and receiving yards (144) and had two touchdown catches...had 12 TD catches for his career...led Northern Lehigh to an 11-1 record and a runner-up finish in District 11 as a senior...helped team to a 14-1 record and berth in the PIAA Class AA state championship game as a sophomore...PrepStar All-East Region...rated of the top 50 prospects in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com...also an all-state performer in the shot put...named Northern Lehigh's Most Valuable Athlete...played under Coach Jim Tkach.

 

Greg Webster, LB, 6-1, 235, North Braddock, Pa., Woodland Hills

Finished his career as the all-time leading tackler at Woodland Hills with 304 total stops...named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team)...had 117 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions as a senior...three-year starter who played defensive end as a sophomore and linebacker his final two years...three-time All-Quad East...two-time Woodland Hills Progress Defensive Player of the Year...selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic...Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAAA...Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"... PrepStar All-American...rated the nation's No. 16 inside linebacker by Rivals.com...also rated the No. 16 overall prospect in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com...latest in a long line of Woodland Hills standouts to join Pitt this decade...the school also produced former Panthers and current NFL players Lousaka Polite (fullback Dallas Cowboys) and cornerback Shawntae Spencer (cornerback San Francisco 49ers)...Woodland Hills graduate Mark Yezovich is a junior fullback on this year's team...played under Coach George Novak.