When discussing local quarterbacks for the Class of 2018, the discussion usually centers around Pine-Richland’s Phil Jurkovec (Notre Dame commitment) and Central Catholic’s Troy Fisher. Well I’m going to give you another name to think about and that’s Hempfield’s Justin Sliwoski.
Sliwoski (6-2, 185) will be entering his first year as the starting quarterback for Hempfield High School, replacing last years starter Danny Walters.
Besides Hempfield, Sliwoski is also the quarterback for Team Evolve (7×7), who over the weekend competed in a national tournament in Florida and performed well. To borrow a phrase from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, the arrow is definitely pointing up for Justin Sliwoski.
“The Florida trip was unbelievable! Our Team Evolve did very well finishing 8th overall in the country for the 7×7 national championship. Our team consisted of great players in the WPIAL such as the Jackson twins, Kenny Robinson, Darius Shields, Kahlil Weathers, Exree Loe and many other players,” said Sliwoski. “We were competing with kids with multiple D1 offers from major colleges such as Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, etc. It was an honor to be able to throw to the best players around Pittsburgh with Team Evolve coached by Von Madden.”
Now it’s time for the junior quarterback to start preparing for the upcoming WPIAL season. This will be a big season for Sliwoski for a couple of reasons- 1) it will be his first year as a full time starter. 2) will be getting evaluated by college coaches in the hopes of landing a scholarship.
Sliwoski’s QB coach for Team Evolve, James Hudgins told me that he believes his pupil is ready to open the eyes of many D-1 programs.
“Most colleges are waiting for his first full year as a starter,” said Hudgins. “Colleges like his arm and his footwork and like him during these 7 on 7 competitions.”
“Justin’s best attributes are that he doesn’t fold under pressure. He throws a great deep ball and can read defenses really well for his young age. Justin loves to go over coverages and plays with me and that will translate in college of him becoming a student of the game. He is a good humble kid with great leadership skills for his young age,” said Hudgins.
To this point, Sliwoski doesn’t have any D-1 offers but by the end of this season, Hudgins believes he’ll have 10+ offers. WVU has shown some early interest and Sliwoski attended their Junior Day in the spring.
What about the hometown team? Has he heard anything from Matt Canada and Pitt?
“Pitt has not reached out to me yet but I’m hoping to hear from them in the future”, said Sliwoski. “I did talk to some of the Pitt coaches at the camp when I attended. It would mean so much to me if my hometown team were to offer me.”
“I would love to get a Pitt offer they have been my team since I was very young. I have been going to games for years and have always liked them. Both of my parents are alumni from Pitt too and have always liked the campus and atmosphere at Heniz Field. Also West Virginia would be a nice one too. When I visited there, the facilities were really nice as were the coaches.”
In order to hear from schools like Pitt and West Virginia, Sliwoski knows he must put out tape that attract major D-1 schools and he thinks he’s ready.
“I’m looking forward to the upcoming year and leading Hempfield to a great season. I feel the attention will come based off the season and my performance.”
Header image: Justin Sliwoski – Photo courtesy of Justin Sliwoski