Last week we were talking about the big Pittsburgh Central Catholic-Pine Richland showdown. It was a game that featured close to a dozen division one recruits, with many of them being high priority Pitt targets. Pittsburgh Central Catholic prevailed 35-28. We got to see first hand a lot of the hype surrounding some of the guys Pat Narduzzi and his staff are after in the recruiting ranks. It looks like there is going to be another game worth monitoring tonight.
Once again Root Sports will air a big Pittsburgh-area high school football game on live television at 7:30 tonight. Undefeated Aliquippa will make the short drive to take on undefeated Beaver Falls for the regular season finale. It is one of the top high school football rivalries in the region, and one that will feature prominent Pitt recruiting targets.
Both schools have storied football traditions, and have been kind to Pitt football through the years. Pitt legends like Mike Ditka, Sean Gilbert, and Darrelle Revis all hail from Aliquippa. Even recent stars like Brandon Lindsey and Jon Baldwin have continued the pipeline from Aliquippa to Pitt. Beaver Falls has produced their fair share of stars, like NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath. The Tigers have given the Pitt football program Todd Thomas recently, along with Sheldon Jeter starring on the Pitt basketball team. Needless to say, these are two well-connected small schools that are important pipelines to Pitt. Here is a look at who to watch in this game.
-- Kaezon Pugh 6'1" 205 Linebacker Class of 2016 (Three-Star) Committed to Pitt
Kaezon Pugh recently pledged to play his college for Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt Panthers. Pugh is one of the more highly sought after players in the state, and picked Pitt over a slew of offers that included West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Arkansas, and Mississippi State. He is going to play linebacker for Pitt, but is a very good high school running back. He leads the Quips in rushing with 1,072 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is a very physically gifted player, and will be the top player to watch in this game.
-- Donovan Jeter 6'5" 285 Defensive End Class of 2017 (Four-Star) Uncommitted
Donovan Jeter is one of Pitt's biggest targets in the class of 2017. The Panthers have already started the class with a bang by securing commitments from Exree Loe and Paris Ford. There is a sentiment that Jeter could be on hie way to be joining those guys at some point. It's hard to say there is a definitive favorite for him right now, but it could very well come down to Pitt and Penn State in this recruiting battle. Ohio State, Michigan State, and Nebraska are also some of the programs pursuing him. Jeter is a four-star, and checks in as the sixth best junior in the state.
The talent may not be as abundant as it was during last week's high school showcase game, the quality is just as high. Pugh and Jeter are two of the best prospects in the WPIAL, and Narduzzi has landed a commitment from one of them already. It's obviously worth noting other players in this game, even some of the younger guys. It is not uncommon for these schools to churn out players, and the next great star for these two programs will likely be on on the field in some way. It's a pipeline that has been very important to Pitt's success for decades. This should be a very competitive high school football game, and could be the first of two meetings between these two teams as the playoffs start next week.