The level of high ranking recruits in a specific region for the most changes yearly and that’s certainly the case in Western Pennsylvania and the WPIAL.
There’s no doubt the pure number of recruits that the area provides to Power 5 programs isn’t what it was years ago, but we still produce high level talent in the area, which is certainly the case in the recruiting Class of 2021.
The latest example happened on Saturday when Gateway four-star safety Derrick Davis announced his intentions to commit to LSU over Ohio State and Penn State. The fact that a player from the WPIAL committed to play for LSU in the SEC is a major story to begin with.
The other big development with his decision is that Davis is now the 9th player from the WPIAL’s Class of 2021 to commit to a Power 5 program. Where does this number compare in terms of WPIAL’s classes over the last handful of seasons?
Going back to the Class of 2017, here are the WPIAL and City League Power 5 commitments and where they committed to:
CLASS OF 2021, nine players: Central Catholic’s Elliott Donald (Pitt), Baldwin’s Dorien Ford (Pitt), West Mifflin’s Nahki Johnson (Pitt), Central Valley’s Stephon Hall (Pitt), Peters Township’s Donovan McMillan (Florida), Gateway’s Derrick Davis (LSU), Beaver Falls Josh Hough (Syracuse), North Allegheny’s Khalil Dinkins (Penn State) and Union’s Aaron Gunn (Louisville).
CLASS OF 2020, six players: Woodland Hills’ Josh Rawlings (Virginia), Mars Michael Carmody (Notre Dame), Central Catholic’s A.J. Beatty (North Carolina), Aliquippa’s Zuriah Fisher (Penn State), Westinghouse’s Dayon Hayes (Pitt) and Seneca Valley’s Josh Kaltenberger (Purdue).
CLASS OF 2019, eight players: Aliquippa’s Will Gipson (Pitt), Pine-Richland’s Michael Katic (Indiana), North Allegheny’s Joey Porter, Jr. (Penn State), Pine-Richland’s Andrew Kristofic (Notre Dame), Aliquippa’s M.J. Devonshire (Kentucky). Shady Side Academy’s Dino Tomlin (Maryland), Gateway’s Courtney Jackson (Syracuse) and Penn Hills’ Daequan Hardy (Penn State).
CLASS OF 2018, 12 players: Pine-Richland’s Phil Jurkovec (Notre Dame), East Allegheny’s T.J. Banks (West Virginia), Butler’s Jake Kradel (Pitt), Belle Vernon’s Blake Zubovic (Pitt), Thomas Jefferson’s Devin Danielson (Pitt), Central Catholic’s David Green (Pitt), Thomas Jefferson’s Noah Palmer (Pitt), Aliquippa’s Kwantel Raines (West Virginia), Bethel Park’s James Gmiter (West Virginia), New Castle’s Marcus Hooker (Ohio State), Penn Hills’ Julian Major (Michigan State) and North Allegheny’s Derek Devine (Virginia).
CLASS OF 2017, 14 Players: Pine-Richland’s Grant Carrigan (Pitt), Neshannock’s Tyler Sear (Pitt), North Allegheny’s Josh Lugg (Notre Dame), Clairton’s Lamont Wade (Penn State), Upper St. Clair’s Gabe Houy (Pitt), Beaver Falls Donovan Jeter (Michigan), Central Catholic’s Kurt Hinish (Notre Dame), Imani Christian’s Kenny Robinson (West Virginia), Central Catholic’s David Adams (Notre Dame), Thomas Jefferson’s Zane Zandier (Virginia), Steel Valley’s Paris Ford (Pitt), Central Catholic’s C.J. Thorpe (Penn State), McKeesport’s Curtis Harper (Syracuse) and New Castle’s Geno Stone (Iowa).
Over the last five recruiting classes, the Pittsburgh area has produced 49 Power Five players, which averages out to 10 players per year. As far as, where these players are leaning in terms of school, here is the breakdown of those 41 players.
Notre Dame: 6
Penn State: 6
West Virginia: 4
Michigan State: 1
North Carolina: 1
Ohio State: 1
Big 10: 13
Big 12: 4