2022 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Central Catholic’s Anthony Speca

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022 | 8:36 PM


Editor’s note: The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 15 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

On the heels of a breakout freshman season when he led the Central Catholic football team in tackles and helped the Vikings capture the WPIAL Class 6A title, Anthony Speca enjoyed the spoils of newfound stardom.

The quick and powerful inside linebacker already was a wanted man: This time last summer, Pitt, Penn State, Notre Dame, West Virginia and Purdue had issued scholarship offers to the then-rising sophomore who had blossomed to 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds.

Fast forward to this summer, and Speca’s stock only has risen further with more colleges seeing what he can do on and off the field. He has 20 offers with Tennessee making its intentions known two weeks ago.

But Speca is taking it all in stride as he mixes the recruiting journey with the goals of being at his personal best and helping his team be at its best for the season less than a month away.

“With all of these offers, the process continues for me to make sure I have all the information and I am making the best decisions,” said Speca, who made visits to Tennessee and South Carolina on June 23 and 24, respectively, and also returned for visits to Pitt and Michigan earlier in the month.

“There are a lot more schools that I like than I used to. Being such a football fan, visiting the schools I’ve watched on TV, it’s a lot of fun, and it also is great motivation for me to not let up with getting stronger and better on and off the field.”

Speca had another strong season for a Central Catholic team that made it to the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals before a tough 47-7 loss to eventual WPIAL and PIAA champion Mt. Lebanon.

“My motivation has always been the same. I just want to win,” Speca said. “Regardless of how last season went, the goal for me and for the team is to be prepared to win football games. We have a lot of goals going into the season, and we also want to avenge that playoff loss for last year’s seniors. Everybody was a little angry coming off that loss.

“There’s something in the air at Central. I think we are more prepared now for this season than we were at this time last year. There is a renewed sense of urgency.”

Speca said the summer has been about working on some new things on defense and shoring up what he feels will be a pretty potent offense.

“It’s basically spring ball without pads,” said Speca, who pointed to the excitement the team has for opening the season at the end of August against Cleveland power St. Edward in Canton.

“If we are going to beat St. Edward, we are going to have to be super detailed, motivated and playing our best football.”

Anthony Speca

Central Catholic

Junior

6-foot-3, 220 pounds

H-back/LB

Stars: Four

Committed to: Uncommitted

Division I offers: Akron, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Vanderbilt

2021 statistics: 84 tackles, four forced fumbles, four sacks

Highlights: Hudl

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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