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Defending National Champs Recruit the WPIAL on Friday



West Mifflin running back Armand Hill. WPIAL.

It’s not every day that the reigning national champion extends offers to local WPIAL recruits, but it helps when that team’s offensive coordinator is a local.

Michigan made its presence known in the WPIAL Friday as new offensive coordinator Kirk Campbell spent some time checking out recruits in the class of 2027.

Campbell, who grew up in Pittsburgh and attended West Allegheny before playing college ball at Mercyhurst, was elevated to Wolverines offensive coordinator in February. He served as the quarterbacks coach last season, helping former Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy to a first round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

He’s well-acquainted with Western Pennsylvania, and he extended offers to a couple of top freshmen running backs:

Armand Hill — 5-foot-10, 165-pound running back from West Mifflin Area in West Mifflin, Pa.

Hill also holds offers from Bowling Green, Penn State, Pitt, UNLV and West Virginia. He led West Mifflin with 117 carries for 1,526 yards (13.1 yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns.

Kemon Spell — 5-foot-9, 185-pound running back from McKeesport in McKeesport, Pa.

Spell also holds offers from Akron, Marshall, Michigan State, Pitt, UNLV and West Virginia. Spell led McKeesport with 37 carries for 517 yards (14.1 yards per carry).

Michigan hasn’t been super active in the WPIAL over the last few seasons, but the Wolverines landed two local recruits in the class of 2024. Central Catholic four-star linebacker Cole Sullivan, who enrolled early and participated in the College Football Playoff practices, and South Park three-star linebacker Zach Ludwig.

Sullivan turned some heads for the Wolverines over the spring, performing well in practices as a true freshman.

Michigan has offered two WPIAL recruits in the class of 2025, but both (four-star running back Tikey Hayes and four-star linebacker Dayshaun Burnett) have committed to Penn State.

Central Catholic three-star linebacker Colson Gatten is the lone WPIAL recruit in the class of 2026 to receive an offer from the Wolverines. But there will very likely be additional offers extended to local recruits in the classes of 2026 and 2027.

Some of the recent WPIAL to Michigan pipeliners includes Khaleke Hudson (McKeesport, 2016), Chase Winovich (Thomas Jefferson, 2014) and Donovan Jeter (Beaver Falls, 2017).

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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