Burrell QB Alex Arledge headed for prep school in hopes of boosting recruiting stock

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Sunday, January 24, 2021 | 4:51 PM


Burrell quarterback Alex Arledge’s recruitment, like many, was affected this season because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Bucs signal-caller has found his next football home.

On Jan. 16, Arledge announced his commitment to East Coast Prep, which is a one-semester postgraduate football program in Great Barrington, Mass., that helps football players improve their game while not losing a year of eligibility. Arledge said he is excited for the opportunity.

“It definitely feels good because the recruitment has been really weird this year, and it was definitely a little stressful,” Arledge said. “Making this decision feels good, knowing where the next step is for me and I’m really excited for it.”

Over the past two seasons, Arledge has been one of the best passers in the WPIAL. As a junior, Arledge (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) threw for 2,462 yards and 27 touchdowns as he led the Bucs to their first winning season since 2012. Arledge attempted 187 passes without throwing an interception in the middle of his junior season.

This past season, Arledge threw for 1,157 yards and just five touchdowns as the Bucs tried to recover from losing a large senior class that caught all but one of Arledge’s passes during his junior season. But, over the past two seasons, coach Shawn Liotta has seen Arledge improve.

“I’m happy for him that he’s going to get an opportunity to go out to East Coast Prep and basically be a 2022 kid next year and get to go through the process again,” Liotta said. “Whoever is fortunate enough to land that kid in the program is getting an outstanding football player, a winner, and a kid that is going to make their program better on and off the field.”

According to the school’s website, East Coast Prep was founded in 2013 by their first head coach and director of operations Dick Bell and since have had the goal of sending football players to the next level.

The Firebirds have sent numerous players to college, and Arledge is hoping to be the next. After the 2019 Valley News Dispatch Offensive Player of the Year graduates, he will spend the fall semester at East Coast Prep, where hopes to pick up a scholarship and enroll with a school for spring football.

“It gives me another year to get bigger, better, stronger and work on my game more,” Arledge said. “That’s my main goal, that’s what I want to focus on the most, just getting better.”

Over the past few years, Arledge has impressed teams and coaches around the WPIAL, but no other coach is as high on Arledge as Liotta, and he believes that Arledge is going to be a steal for whatever school lands him.

“This class of 2021 has really had issues with recruiting, and Alex is a kid, to me, who is one of the best quarterbacks in the country and I have no problem saying that,” Liotta said. “He’s a really talented kid, and he’s everything you’d want as a pocket quarterback, a drop-back quarterback. He’s got a big-time arm. He’s smart, great student, great leader. He’s got all the things that you would want in that kind of a player.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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