In order to have a quality combine in Western Pennsylvania you need to really hit two areas and that is Pittsburgh, which in football circles is considered the WPIAL and the Cleveland, Canton, Akron and Youngstown areas of Eastern Ohio. This event reads like a who's who of those fertiel recruiting lands. Scout.com takes a closer look at what we can expect to see on Sunday at UPMC.
There will be plenty of offense on display at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex and it all starts at the quarterback position and Penn State commit Paul Jones (McKees Rocks/Pa./Sto-Rox). Jones is widely considered one of the top quarterback prospects on the East Coast. The bulk of the offensive talent will be displayed ta the running back and wide receiver positions. The running backs will be led by Pittsburgh commit Derrick Burns (New Wilmington/Pa./Wilmington). Burns helped lead the Greyhounds to a state championship and will follow his brother and fellow Scout.com Combine alum Chirs Burns to Pitt.
Three more local tailbacks who should receive their share of D-I looks will be competing on Sunday they include Cody Cook (Beaver Falls), Bruce Patterson (Brashear) and Deontae Howard (Clairton). Howard ran the fastest forty yard dahs time at the combine in Pittsburgh last Spring. One of the most exciting aspects of combines are the chance to see some of the top underclassmen in action and at the running back position we will have the chance to see two of the best in the class of 2012 including Trey Hall (New Brighton/Pa.) and Brionte Dunn (Alliance/Ohio). Dunn has drawn comparisons to another Scout.com Combine alum Chris "Beanie" Wells.
"Not a lot of people know who Brionte Dunn even is, but they will," said Ohio Recruiting Analyst Bill Greene. "This kid will be the next Beanie Wells. Once people find out about him, he will blow up."
Corey Brown is gone from the potent Gateway offense, but transfer Brendon Felder should provide the Gators with a breakaway threat. Brandon Ifill (Pittsburgh/Pa./Penn Hills) has a number of scholarship offers on both sides of the ball. Kevin Weatherspoon (Clairton/Pa.) has blossomed into one of the regions premier pass catchers. Michigan commit and big play threat Jerald Robinson (Canton/Ohio/South) will be looking to show that the hype warranted.
A big reason why Paul Jones puts up big numbers at Sto-Rox is because of a talented wide receiver named Andrew Carswell. Carswell will put his skills on display. If you're looking for a sleeper at this position Jimmy Giansante (Jefferson Hills/Pa./Thomas Jefferson) will surprise some people. Among the underclassmen at the wide receiver position Darius Patton (Pittsburgh/Pa./Penn Hills) is a special player. Patton is primarily a slot receiver who is very talented in the open field. Jordan Paskorz (Allison Park/Pa./Hampton) could work out at tight end or defensive end. The younger brother of Notre Dame fullback Steve Paskorz recently picked up his first offer from Pittsburgh.
Anywhere you travel in the North you always expect to see some talented big men and this combine will feature some of the areas best including Miles Dieffenbach (Pittsburgh/Pa./Fox Chapel). Dieffenbach may be the most versatile lineman in the state. He is capable of playing tackle, guard or center. A name that is familiar to Pittsburgh fans is Tom Ricketts. The former Pitt Panther now has a son (Tom Ricketts) who is a standout offensive lineman at (Wexford/Pa./North Alegheny). Christian Pace (Avon Lake/Ohio) holds a number of scholarship offers and he will make the trip to compete against the areas best.
On the defensive side of the ball it all starts up front on any defense and there are some very talented defensive linemen who will be on hand at this event including (Pittsburgh/Pa./Penn Hills) defensive tackle Aaron Donald who terrorized opposing quarterbacks last season. The defensive ends will be led by a pair of Ohio State commitments Jamel Turner (Youngstown/Ohio/Ursuline) and J.T. Moore (Boardman/Ohio). Both are making return appearances to the Scout.com Combine. Just like we saw Turner and Moore dominate as underclassmen, all eyes will be on a pair of talented sophomores Steve Miller (Canton/Ohio/McKinley) and Desimon Green (Clairton/Pa.). These two are long, rangy defenders who get after the quarterback.
The linebacker position will feature a number of talented players with a ton of scholarship offers. Kenny Wilkins (Washington/Pa./Trinity) is a specimen at linebacker. He is the cousin of former Notre Dame runing back/linebacker Travis Thomas. Wilkins currently holds 11 scholarship offers. Jewone Snow (Canton/Ohio/McKinley) is a force at middle linebacker and he bounced back from an injury plagued sophomore season to post impressive numbers as a junior.
Manessha Garner (Pittsburgh/Pa./Brashear) made a name for himself at last year's Pittsburgh combine as a wide receiver. Garner is being heavily recruited as a linebacker now. Delbert Tyler (Monroeville/Pa./Gateway) could be recruited at linebacker or fullback. He has spent the past two seasons learning from Ohio State recruit Dorian Bell. Eddie Ball (Clairton/Pa.) may not be the biggest linebacker/fullback on the field, but the kid is a winner as he proved with his effort in the state championship game. He never quits. Underclassmen Kody Oliver (Armagh/Pa./United) comes from the same school that produced yours truly. Oliver is a very solid athlete who was a team leader in his first varsity season for the Lions.
Any combine that features talented wide receivers has to have some talent in the defensive secondary to make things interesting and this combine has a wealth of talnted defenders including Cullen Christian (Pittsburgh/Pa./Penn Hills) who holds double-digit scholarship offers. Courtney Avery (Lexington/Ohio) returns for his second trip to a Scout.com combine and he is one of the most impressive athletes in the country. Another very impressive athlete on offense and defense is D.J. Myers from nearby (Pittsburgh/Pa./Central Catholic).
Dayonne Nunley and Orne Bey both from Gateway will be looking to build on the impressive performances that they put on at the U.S. Army All-American Combine in San Antonio, Texas. DeAndre Harris (Youngstown/Ohio/Ursuline)put on a show at last years event and he will be looking to improve on that performance and show that he is one of the best cover corners in the Midwest. A name to watch in this group will be Shaquille Jefferson (Lexington/Ohio) who is the younger brother of Ohio State cornerback Jamario O'Neal