The Class of 2021 looks like it could be on its way to being a dominant one for Western Pennsylvania.
While the amount of top college football talent to come out of the area is not the same as it once was, it’s still possible that in a single season for Western Pennsylvania to have a spectacular year of D-1 players and that’s what shaping up for the Class of 2021.
The WPIAL already has two players that are national recruits in Gateway running back and linebacker Derrick Davis and Central Catholic defensive lineman Elliot Donald.
Davis, who has offers to Alabama and Clemson, among others, may be the most hyped and most recruited local player since Jeannette’s Terrelle Pryor.
As of the middle of February, 30 WPIAL juniors already hold Division I scholarships and 10 of those are Power Five offers.
Compare to that to the Class of 2020 when only six players went to Power 5 programs: Central Catholic DE AJ Beatty (North Carolina), Mars OT Michael Carmody (Notre Dame), Aliquippa LB Zuriah Fisher (Penn State), Westinghouse DE Dayon Hayes (Pitt), Seneca Valley C Josh Kaltenberger (Purdue) and Woodland Hills TE Josh Rawlings (Virginia).
Not only are their 10 players with Power 5 offers but it’s very likely that six of those players will eventually have a 4-star ranking. Here are the 10 players with their current list of Power 5 offers:
Derrick Davis, Gateway 4-star Athlete Offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Alabama, Baylor, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.
Elliot Donald, Central Catholic 4-star DT Offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
Dorien Ford, Baldwin 3-star DT Offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Syracuse, and Texas A&M.
Donovan McMillon, Peters Twp 3-star S Offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Louisville, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Purdue, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Stephon Hall, Central Valley 3-star S Offer from Pitt.
Chamor Price, Gateway 3-star WR Offers from Syracuse and Wake Forest.
Khalil Dinkins, North Allegheny 3-star WR/LB Offers from Penn State, Boston College, Michigan, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Josh Hough, Beaver Falls 3-star RB/LB Offers from Kentucky and Syracuse.
Aaron Gunn, Union 3-star OG Offers from West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisville and Michigan State.
The level of high-level talent is unprecedented in recent years. Six local players made Power Five commitments in 2020. In 2019, there were seven. You have to go back to 2018, when there were 13 local players that committed to Power Five schools, to find a comparison.
That’s the way things stand as of Feb. 15 but it wouldn’t be surprising if a couple more local juniors receive Power Five offers.
Here are the other WPIAL players in the Class of 2021 that have already received D-1 offers: Peters Township LB Corban Hondru, Pine-Richland OT/DE Harrison Hayes, Pine-Richland OG/DE Miguel Jackson, Penn Hills WR/DB Noel Roach, Penn-Trafford QB/LB Ethan Carr, Elizabeth Forward DE Chase Whatton, Woodland Hills WR/DB Davion Rochelle, Central Valley QB Ameer Dudley, Central Valley WR/DB Myles Walker, North Allegheny LB Nathan Hoke, Plum OL/DL Evan Azzara, Woodland Hills RB/DB Taelen Brooks, Norwin TE/LB Tanner Krevokuch, Avonworth TE/DE Trevor Faulkner, Plum WR/LB Max Matolcsy, Pine-Richland WR Daedae Johnson, Clairton OT/DT Demetrius Weatherspoon, Gateway WR/CB Shane Thrift, Sto-Rox RB/LB Diontae Givens and Upper St. Clair WR/DB David Pantelis.
With this sort of local talent, Pat Narduzzi and his staff will no doubt be under pressure to try and get as many of these players as possible to stay home at Pitt.
They’re got off to a good start with Johnson and have Donald, McMillon, Ford and Hall high on their radar. The one name missing from that list is Dinkins, which is somewhat surprising considering his father, Darnell played at Pitt. Dinkins received an offer on Saturday from Penn State and you’d have to think Pitt will be jumping in with an offer soon.