2023 TribLive HSSN Terrific 25 Football All-Stars

By:
Wednesday, December 20, 2023 | 1:11 AM


Here’s a look at the TribLive High School Sports Network’s Terrific 25 football all-stars for the 2023 season.

Terrific 25

Tyree Alualu

North Allegheny, RB/LB

6-0, 220, senior

Alualu was a two-way standout for the Tigers, who won back-to-back WPIAL Class 6A titles. He rushed for nearly 900 yards and scored 16 touchdowns, but the son of a former Steelers defender also was a difference maker at linebacker. He lists more than a dozen Division I offers, including Cincinnati and Oregon.

Watch Tyree Alualu highlights

Donald Barksdale

Steel Valley, RB/LB

5-10, 170, junior

Barksdale was a workhorse back for Steel Valley, which reached the WPIAL Class 2A finals for the second year in a row. He carried 267 times for 2,061 yards and scored 37 touchdowns. He also had 53 tackles and four interceptions, including two pick-sixes.

Watch Donald Barksdale highlights

Brad Birch

Gateway, QB

6-0, 190, senior

Birch ranks fourth on the WPIAL all-time passers lists with 8,496 career yards, and he also threw for 100 touchdowns. As a senior, he passed for 2,214 yards and 20 TDs. This was his third consecutive 2,000-yard season for the Gators.

Watch Brad Birch highlights

Khiryn Boyd

North Allegheny, WR/DB

5-11, 175, senior

Boyd was playmaker in all three phases of the game as North Allegheny won its second consecutive WPIAL Class 6A title. He led the team with 32 catches for 846 yards and scored 16 touchdowns despite missing some time to injury. He also returned an interception for a touchdown and took back two kickoffs and a punt to the end zone.

Watch Khiryn Boyd highlights

Dayshaun Burnett

Imani Christian, LB/RB/QB

6-4, 220, junior

Burnett is a highly recruited linebacker who also does a little bit of everything on offense for the Saints, who reached the WPIAL 2A quarterfinals. He threw for more than 500 yards, rushed for more than 300 and also caught more than a dozen passes. He lists Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia among his top offers.

Watch Dayshaun Burnett highlights

Ryan Cory

Pine-Richland, OL/DL

6-4, 285, senior

Cory’s blocks helped Pine-Richland reach the WPIAL Class 5A finals for the second year in a row. The Wisconsin recruit anchored an offensive line that cleared the way for a 3,000-yard rushing attack. The Rams often leaned on a wildcat offense that relied on winning up front.

Watch Ryan Cory highlights

Nolan DiLucia

Peters Township, QB/DB

6-2, 190, sophomore

The first-year starter topped the WPIAL in passing yards while leading the Indians to their first district title. DiLucia passed for 3,036 yards and 30 touchdowns and also rushed for nearly 400 yards. The Indians won the WPIAL Class 5A title and reached the state finals.

Watch Nolan DiLucia highlights

Julian Dugger

Penn Hills, QB

6-3, 200, senior

A four-year starter, Dugger was one of the WPIAL’s most dynamic quarterbacks. He finished with nearly 5,000 career passing yards after throwing for 1,646 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior. He also rushed for 776 yards on 126 carries and scored 11 touchdowns.

Watch Julian Dugger highlights

Peter Gonzalez

Central Catholic, WR

6-3, 200, senior

Gonzalez was a big-play threat for one of the WPIAL’s highest-scoring offenses. He caught 47 passes for 1,081 yards and scored 12 touchdowns, helping the Vikings reach the WPIAL 6A final. The Penn State recruit had more than 100 catches in three seasons. His father, Pete, played quarterback at Pitt.

Watch Peter Gonzalez highlights

Tiqwai “Tikey” Hayes

Aliquippa, RB/DB

6-1, 195, junior

Hayes already ranks among the top 10 rushers in WPIAL history and has another season to go. The Penn State commit finished his junior year with 2,129 yards and 23 touchdowns, leading the Quips to WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A titles. The WPIAL title was his third and the state title his second.

Watch Tiqwai Hayes highlights

Logan Kushner

North Allegheny, QB

6-1, 200, senior

Kushner led North Allegheny to consecutive WPIAL Class 6A titles. As a senior, he passed for 1,877 yards, rushed for 1,475 yards, contributed to 48 total touchdowns and guided the Tigers to the state finals. He has college offers from Davidson, Dayton, Robert Morris and Valparaiso.

Watch Logan Kushner highlights

Cameron Lindsey

Aliquippa, LB/RB

6-2, 210, senior

Lindsey was a hard-hitting member of a defense that won its second state title and third WPIAL title in a three-year span. The Pitt recruit had 118 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one interception and two defensive TDs. He scored nine times on offense.

Watch Cameron Lindsey highlights

Quinton Martin

Belle Vernon, RB/DB

6-3, 205, senior

Martin was the leading rusher, receiver and scorer for a Belle Vernon team that won consecutive WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A titles. The Penn State recruit rushed for 1,202 yards and caught 54 passes for 753 yards. He scored 28 touchdowns, one on a 92-yard run in the state finals.

Watch Quinton Martin highlights

Jackson Pons

Norwin, WR/DB

6-2, 185, senior

Pons caught 34 passes for 588 yards and eight touchdowns as a reliable receiver, but he did some of his best work on defense. The safety headed to Miami (Ohio) had 84 tackles, including 11 tackles for losses, two interceptions and seven pass defenses.

Watch Jackson Pons highlights

Matt Sieg

Fort Cherry, QB

6-1, 180, sophomore

Sieg was a dual threat for the Rangers, who won the WPIAL Class A title and reached the state finals. He rushed 257 times for 2,387 yards and 43 touchdowns and also showed skill as a passer. He threw for 1,671 yards and 20 TDs. He has Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia among his offers.

Watch Matt Sieg highlights

Anthony Speca

Central Catholic, LB

6-3, 215, senior

In his four seasons as a starter, Speca became Central Catholic’s all-time leading tackler with more than 300. The Penn State recruit added 90 tackles as a senior, including 17 tackles for a loss and five sacks. The Vikings reached the WPIAL finals in each of his four seasons.

Watch Anthony Speca highlights

Cole Sullivan

Central Catholic, LB/TE

6-4, 205, senior

Sullivan is a Michigan linebacker recruit, but he was a two-way impact player for Central Catholic. He had 76 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries on defense, while also adding 29 receptions and eight touchdowns on offense.

Watch Cole Sullivan highlights

Alex Tatsch

Latrobe, LB/RB

6-3, 210, junior

Tatsch’s tackling skills have made him a coveted college recruit for 2025. He led Latrobe with team-high 79 tackles, along with four sacks and four interceptions. He rushed for 374 yards and scored nine touchdowns as well for the Wildcats, who reached the WPIAL 4A quarterfinals. He has numerous Power Five offers.

Watch Alex Tatsch highlights

Zach Tomosovich

Penn-Trafford, OL/DL

6-5, 310, senior

Tomosovich was a standout blocker for an offense that ran the football with success. The Army commit helped clear the way for a rushing attack that gained nearly 2,500 yards. Defensively, he had 21 tackles and one sack.

Watch Zach Tomosovich highlights

Braylon Thomas

Union, QB/DB

6-1, 180, senior

Thomas followed up a stellar junior year by passing for 2,077 yards and rushing for 1,201 this season. Combined, he contributed 50 touchdowns (28 passing, 22 rushing). He led Union to the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals after winning the league title a year ago.

Watch Braylon Thomas highlights

Mickey Vaccarello

Peters Township, LB/TE

6-3, 210, junior

Vaccarrello led a Peters Township defense that held its first eight opponents to a touchdown or less. He finished with 111 total tackles, including 29 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks for the WPIAL Class 5A champions and PIAA runners-up. He has offers from Boston College, Miami (Ohio) and Syracuse.

Watch Mickey Vaccarello highlights

Payton Wehner

Central Catholic, QB

6-0, 180, senior

Wehner topped 2,000 passing yards for the second consecutive season, pushing his career total to 6,956. That ranks him 13th among all passers in WPIAL history. The St. Francis (Pa.) recruit had 2,940 yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior for the WPIAL Class 6A finalist.

Watch Payton Wehner highlights

Jake Wolfe

Montour, QB

6-2, 195, senior

Wolfe passed for 2,662 yards and 31 touchdowns and rushed for 861 yards and 14 scores as Montour reached the WPIAL semifinals. In a quarterfinal win over Thomas Jefferson, he accounted for six TDs (five passing, one rushing). He graduates with 4,868 career passing yards. He recently added a Robert Morris offer.

Watch Jake Wolfe highlights

Evan Wright

Mars, RB/DB

5-8, 170, senior

Wright topped 100 yards rushing in 12 of 13 games and finished third among all WPIAL scorers with 34 touchdowns. He reached the end zone at least once in every game. He proved his durability by handling 299 carries for 1,863 yards as Mars reached the WPIAL 4A semifinals.

Watch Evan Wright highlights

Jack Yatchenko

North Allegheny, OL/DL

6-3, 285, junior

North Allegheny rushed for more than 4,000 yards, thanks in part to a talented offensive line and Yatchenko, a strong two-way tackle. Defensively, he made 42 tackles, including 11 tackles for a loss. A two-year starter on offense, he earned all-conference honors at center as a sophomore before shifting to right tackle.

Watch Jack Yatchenko highlights

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More Football

Aliquippa injunction hearing vs. PIAA takes 3-week pause with executive director testifying
Westmoreland high school notebook: Football rivalry games put on hold this season
Girls flag football catching on at Shaler
Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford football to honor newest hall of fame class
Central Catholic QB Payton Wehner wins Willie Thrower Award