During the month of August and leading up to the kickoff of the high school football season, PSN will profile some of the top players in the WPIAL. These player previews and our 2018 High School Football coverage is sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts of Pittsburgh, proud sponsors of high school football in Western Pennsylvania.
Rahmon Hart Jr. understands the value of an opportunity.
Following a promising sophomore season at Plum, one where he caught six touchdowns, the 6-foot-3 receiver elected to transfer to Imani Christian Academy to better prepare himself academically and to showcase his natural talent on the field.
Playing in Imani’s pass-centric offense, Hart Jr. excelled. He finished 22 yards shy of a 1,000-yard receiving season, catching 63 passes and scoring 11 touchdowns. The Saints averaged a blistering 40 points per game and advanced to the WPIAL Class 1A championship game, narrowly losing to Jeannette, 35-34.
Plum’s offense was predicated on running the football, making Hart Jr.’s sophomore season all that more impressive, but at Imani he’s in a wide receiver’s fantasy world.
“Coming from Plum, it was a lot slower offense,” Hart Jr. said. “We ran the ball more, the complete opposite of Imani. We were run first. But playing at Imani, we’re pass first. We’re passing basically every down. I get the opportunity to make more plays.”
Hart Jr. will have every opportunity to make even more plays this season. Imani returns 16 starters from a year ago, including its entire offensive line. The Saints figure to be among the best small schools in western Pennsylvania, and Hart Jr. is a big reason why. Few schools in the state’s lower classifications possess his talent.
A consensus three-star recruit, Hart Jr. committed to Ball State in May, choosing the Cardinals over Army, Navy, Temple, and Toledo among others. Again, the decision was largely rooted in opportunity.
“I felt like it was the best decision for me, academically and athletically,” Hart Jr. said. “They told me how they want to use me. The offense coordinator was really interested in me, and they know my strengths and weaknesses.
“I think they’ll use me the right way, and I really like the academic part, too.”
Hart Jr. is part of a deep and talented 2019 WPIAL wide receiver class that features Gateway’s Courtney Jackson, Shady Side Academy’s Dino Tomlin, and Penn Hills’ Dante Cephas. He listed Jackson as a good friend and praised the Syracuse-bound recruit for his on-the-field production. Still, Hart Jr. believes he’s among the area’s elite, noting “every person, especially receivers, should think they’re the best.”
Hart Jr. spent the summer working on his hands and becoming a more consistent threat in the open field.
“The thing I worked on the most was catching the ball,” Hart Jr. said. “I was going to the jug machine a lot throughout the day and throughout the week. I also worked on my yards after catch because that was the thing I didn’t do real well at last year, something I thought I could improve on.”
When the ball is thrown in his direction, he rarely comes away without it. Hart Jr. had just two drops last season and has every intention of eclipsing the 1000-yard mark this season, too.
“My goal for the season is to have at least 1,200 yards receiving, 12 touchdowns and around 70 catches,” Hart Jr. said.
He’ll have every opportunity to obtain his goals. No one knows that better than Hart. Jr.