2021 HSSN football position-by-position breakdown: Scouting the defensive line

Sunday, August 22, 2021 | 6:34 PM

TribLive HSSN will break down the top players at one position per day until Week Zero. Here’s a look at the top defensive linemen for the 2021 season.

1. Sean FitzSimmons

Central Valley

Senior, 6-3, 275

FitzSimmons’ coach may praise the two-way lineman’s underrated blocking skills, but almost everyone else marvels at his defensive dominance. The Pitt recruit made a team-high 112 total tackles including 51 solo stops as Central Valley won WPIAL and PIAA titles. His stats included 36 tackles for a loss and 18 sacks. He chose Pitt over offers from Akron, Air Force, Army, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Duke, Kent State, Liberty, Miami (Ohio), Penn, Princeton, Syracuse, Toledo, UMass, Wake Forest and Western Michigan.

Watch Sean FitzSimmons highlights

2. Donovan Hinish

Central Catholic

Senior, 6-2, 275

Central Catholic has a dominant defensive lineman named Hinish who wins a WPIAL title and commits to Notre Dame. Sound familiar? The brothers even wear the same number: 51. Yet, four years after older brother Kurt starred for the Vikings, Donovan is making a name for himself as a two-way tackle. The Rivals three-star recruit committed to the Fighting Irish in June over offers from Pitt, Virginia Tech and others.

Watch Donovan Hinish highlights

3. Tyreese Fearbry


Senior, 6-5, 230

Fearbry ranks among the most highly recruited City League prospects in recent years. The four-star Rivals recruit briefly committed to Penn State in July before reconsidering. His other finalists were Pitt, Auburn and Kentucky. A year ago, his football season was limited to five games because of the pandemic, but this fall could be a busy year for Fearbry. He had five sacks as a junior. He also holds offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Indiana, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State, Missouri, South Carolina, Syracuse, West Virginia and others.

Watch Tyreese Fearbry highlights

4. Jacob Porter

North Allegheny

Senior, 6-3, 210

An edge rusher wearing black and gold with the last name Porter is enough to make any quarterback nervous. Jacob Porter’s father, Joey, was a Pro Bowl linebacker with the Steelers. The younger Porter is a lightning-quick all-conference defensive end for North Allegheny. How fast? He finished fourth in the 100 meters at the WPIAL track championships this spring. He has offers from Akron, Old Dominion and Colorado State, his dad’s alma mater.

Watch Jacob Porter highlights

5. Jordan Mayer

Thomas Jefferson

Junior, 6-4, 235

Thomas Jefferson has a strong track record for producing good defensive players, a list that includes recent graduates Devin Danielson (now at Pitt) and Chase Winovich (now with the New England Patriots). Mayer seems poised to maybe join that list. The two-way starter at defensive end and tight end helped the Jaguars win WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A titles last season. He already holds college offers from Boston College, Bowling Green and Duquesne.

Watch Jordan Mayer highlights


Kameron Cheatom


Junior, 6-3, 220

City League football is certainly trending up right now in terms of college recruits. Fearbry isn’t the only defensive end playing in the city of Pittsburgh with Division I offers. Cheatom, who has played defensive end for only one year, already lists offers from Akron, Kent State and Toledo.

Watch Kameron Cheatom highlights

• • • • •


QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | CB | S | K

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Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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