Ball State, once unfamiliar to Western Pa., offers 6 more WPIAL juniors

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Thursday, January 24, 2019 | 5:54 PM


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Ball State wasn't always a familiar name for WPIAL football recruits.

Not until Cardinals coach Mike Neu's staff made inroads into Western Pennsylvania over the past year and signed two recruits from the WPIAL's senior class last month.

Now, they're focused on some WPIAL juniors.

Montour lineman George Padezanin, Aliquippa linebacker Zuriah Fisher, Woodland Hills tight end Joshua Rawlings, Penn Hills safety Aakeem Snell, North Catholic linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green and Gateway linebacker Tui Brown all received offers this week from Ball State.

Baldwin sophomore defensive end Dorien Ford (6-5, 265) also announced a Ball State offer Wednesday.

Central Catholic juniors A'meer and A'maar Allen added Ball State offers earlier this month. Vikings teammate A.J. Beatty received a Cardinals offer in December.

The Division 1 offer was the first for Padezanin (6-3, 275), who earned first-team all-conference honors this past season as both an offensive tackle and defensive tackle in the Class 4A Northwest Eight. He also was named as the conference's defensive MVP.

The scholarship offers show Ball State's growing interest in the area.

Aliquippa lineman Solvauhn Moreland and Imani Christian wide receiver Rahmon Hart Jr. signed with Ball State in December. Aliquippa wide receiver Will Gipson initially committed to Ball State before signing instead with Pitt.

The Cardinals had no Pennsylvania players on the roster last season. Their most recent Keystone State recruit was New Castle's Lamont McPhatter in 2014, before Neu became coach.

Neu is entering his fourth season. The team finished 4-8 overall last season, 3-5 in the Mid-American Conference.

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Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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