2022 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Upper St. Clair’s Aidan Besselman

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Saturday, June 18, 2022 | 12:01 AM


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.

Aidan Besselman will have a hard time topping the 2021 football season.

The rising Upper St. Clair senior was one of the top wide receivers in the WPIAL, earning first-team Class 5A Allegheny 6 all-conference honors after making 30 catches for 412 yards and six touchdowns. He also was a threat to run out of the backfield and even threw a touchdown pass.

But at the top of the season highlight reel was a leaping touchdown catch against South Fayette that was featured on ESPN’s “You Got Mossed” segment.

The momentum-changing TD helped the Panthers tie the score before later winning in overtime, helping spark USC to a 6-5 season that ended with a 13-10 loss to Fox Chapel in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.

“It was super cool,” he said, citing countless texts and social media exchanges after it aired. “Even cooler was to be in the moment and share that with a lot of people you spend a lot of time working with in the offseason. It was awesome to get the recognition for the team and around the Pittsburgh area.”

Besselman has been getting plenty of recognition this offseason, mostly from Division I college coaches who are looking to bring his two-way talents to their campus.

Also a skilled defensive back, Besselman has drawn offers from 20 programs, including several in the Ivy League and MAC. He put his speed (4.47-second 40), talent and big-play ability on display last season, and coaches have certainly taken notice.

“Aidan has a very high football IQ,” USC coach Mike Junko said. “He is instinctual on defense and a fierce competitor on offense. He is physical on defense and has demonstrated tremendous ball skills on offense. He possesses elite speed and an unrelenting tenacity that complements his many talents on the football field.”

Besselman, who also is a two-time all-section lacrosse player and plays basketball at USC, plans to make a commitment before his senior season begins but will make a few more visits and take part in college camps and 7-on-7 competitions with his teammates before he pledges.

“It’s fun to get recruited,” he said. “At the same time, it’s also a process. Going out to visits and talking to coaches and proving yourself at camps, it’s been fun.

“Obviously, high academics is super important. And to see how the team interacts with each other and how the coaches interact with the team. We talk at Upper St. Clair about building a family. That’s important. You spend a lot of time with these guys. You want to find guys who bond well together.”

Aidan Besselman

Upper St. Clair

Senior

6-2, 185 pounds

WR/DB

Committed to: Uncommitted

Division I offers: Albany, Army, Brown, Bucknell, Colgate, Columbia, Dartmouth, Fordham, Harvard, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Maine, Miami (Ohio), New Hampshire, Ohio, Penn, Princeton, Richmond, Robert Morris, Yale

2021 statistics: 30 catches for 412 yards, 6 TDs; 29 rushes for 141 yards; 2 for 2 passing for 57 yards, TD

Highlights: Hudl

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at bhartlep@triblive.com.

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