CTK ’14: MSA Sports Preseason ELITE ELEVEN

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 | 11:06 PM

Dual-threat quarterbacks seem to be all the rage in football these days – and it shows on the Elite 11 team.

The Elite 11 is made up of the top 11 players in the WPIAL, regardless of position. It is picked by the MSA Sports staff. This year’s team includes three quarterbacks who are dual-threats. In other words, they are excellent runners as well as passers.

The dual-threat QBs are Seneca Valley’s T.J. Holl, Quaker Valley’s Dane Jackson and Ringgold’s Nico Law.

But the Elite 11 is not without a traditional dropback QB. South Fayette’s Brett Brumbaugh might end up the most prolific passer in WPIAL history.

Overall, nine seniors and two juniors are on the team. Here is a look at the MSA Elite 11.

QB, 6-4, 195, Sr.

Brumbaugh already owns one WPIAL record (single-season passing yards) and he likely will end up as the most prolific passer in the history of the WPIAL. Brumbaugh heads into his senior year with 7,326 passing yards (462 of 700 attempts and 85 touchdowns). He needs 1,182 yards to reach the WPIAL record of 8,508, set by Sto-Rox’s Lenny Williams last year. He also has a chance to get Williams’ WPIAL record of 102 touchdown passes. A year ago, Brumbaugh led South Fayette to a 16-0 record and WPIAL and PIAA titles. He completed 260 of 379 for 3,897 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Despite having good size and impressive statistics, Brumbaugh is not being heavily recruited. He does, however, have two Division I-A college scholarship offers from Temple and Toledo.

RB-LB, 6-0, 200, Sr.

Dillon might not be recruited heavily like some other players on the Elite 11, but as far as a high school “player,” Dillon is as good as anyone. He is a key part of West Allegheny’s team both offensively and defensively and has helped the Indians win two consecutive WPIAL Class AAA titles.

A starter since his sophomore seasons, Dillon has 2,155 yards rushing on 262 carries in two seasons. Last year, he rushed for 1,203 yards on 137 carries, an 8.8 yards-per-carry average. He also is one of the best defenders for West Allegheny.

RB-DB, 5-7, 180, Sr.

Fulmore is coming off a junior season that didn’t start too well, but ended up in grand fashion. Fulmore injured a knee early in the season and missed some games. He came back, but eventually moved to quarterback when QB Adam Sharlow was injured late in the regular season. Fulmore ended up helping Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic win its first WPIAL football title and a PIAA championship.

Fulmore had 1,213 yards rushing last year on 257 carries, and has 3,033 yards the past two years on 457 carries. This season, Sharlow is back at QB and Fulmore will play running back and slotback. Fulmore already has committed to Duquesne University.

QB-LB, 6-1, 200, Sr.

Holl runs things for his father. Don Holl is Seneca Valley’s coach and his son makes the Raiders’ go. In his first season as the starting QB last season, T.J. completed 117 of 188 for 1,804 yards and also led the team in rushing with 723 yards on 158 carries. He scored 16 touchdowns and threw for 11. He played mostly at defensive back last year, but will play outside linebacker this year. You won’t see many Quad-A quarterbacks who also play linebacker.

Holl is getting interest from mostly Division I-AA colleges, and a few Mid-American Conference schools. Colgate has offered a scholarship.

QB-DB, 6-1, 180, Sr.

Jackson actually attends Cornell High School, but plays for Quaker Valley under a cooperative sponsorship agreement. Although Jackson’s college future is on defense, he has made quite the impact as an offensive player in the WPIAL. He was almost a 1,000-1,000 player last season, if you count playoffs. He rushed for 1,111 yards on 118 carries and completed 66 of 113 passes for 975 yards in helping Quaker Valley reach the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 1999. Jackson is an excellent two-sport athlete. He was the third-leading scorer in the WPIAL last season as a junior when he averaged 26.9 points.

Jackson already has made a verbal commitment to Pitt, accepting a scholarship earlier this summer. Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green were the two other Division I-A schools that had offered scholarships.

OT-DT, 6-8, 301, Sr.

Jenkins obviously is big, but so is his reputation. Jenkins is ranked the No. 15 offensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com. He is built like an NFL lineman already, but Jenkins said one of his main goals this season is to prove he is, indeed, a player. Coaches in the Southeastern Conference did not even pick him first-team all-conference a year ago. Besides playing offensive tackle, he will play much more on defense this season.

Jenkins made a verbal commitment to Penn State in the spring. He had many scholarship offers from colleges across the country. Michigan and Ohio State were his other two finalists.

QB-DB, 6-0, 180, SR.

No one runs from the Law. It’s usually defenders chasing after the Law. Statistically at least, Law is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state. Last season, he became one of the few players in WPIAL history to run for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,000 yards during the regular season. He finished with 1,210 yards rushing and also completed 93 of 180 passes for 1,494 yards. Big things are expected of Law – and Ringgold – this season. A number of starters return and Ringgold opens the season against perennial power Thomas Jefferson.

Some Division I colleges have expressed interest in Law, but his only offers so far are from Ohio and James Madison.

WR-DB, 6-5, 180, Jr.

Mathews would be another one of those “dual-threat” quarterbacks, but he has moved from QB to receiver, his future college position. Mathews is a tall, rangy receiver and he obviously has extreme athletic ability, as evidenced by his statistics as a quarterback. He led Clairton in rushing last season as a sophomore when he rushed for 1,010 yards on 105 carries. He also completed 40 of 61 passes for 515 yards.

At receiver, Mathews has already caught the attention of major colleges. He has scholarship offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Toledo and a few other Division I schools.

RB, 6-0, 190, Jr.

Sanders burst on the scene when he was in the Woodland Hills starting lineup as a freshman. Now he is ranked among the top junior running backs in the country. He has 1,705 yards and 26 touchdowns in two seasons and rushed for 1,064 yards last season. He has good speed and is ranked the No. 4 junior running back in the country by Rivals.com.

Although he is only a junior, Sanders already has made his college decision. He made a verbal commitment to Penn State this summer. He also had offers from a number of other Division I colleges, including Pitt, Nebraska, Michigan State and Michigan.

WR-DB, 6-1, 175, Sr.

Tipton is one of the best players to come out of Apollo-Ridge in a long time. He is a three-sport athlete, but is recognized mostly as a football player. Last season, he caught 44 passes for 697 yards in helping Apollo-Ridge reach the WPIAL Class A playoffs. The Vikings move up to Class AA this season. He also averaged 14.7 points in basketball last season. In the spring, he finished second in the WPIAL Class AA long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 10 ¼ inches.

Tipton already has accepted a scholarship to Pitt. The Panthers recruited him as a receiver. Michigan State, Akron, Toledo and a few other schools had offered scholarships.

RB-WR-DB, 5-11, 185, Sr.

Whitehead started for Central Valley as a freshman defensive back three years ago. He is now a senior and ranked among the top defensive backs in the country. Scout.com ranks him the No. 22 cornerback. Defensive back is certainly Whitehead’s future position, but he also is a threat on offense as a running back or receiver. He rushed for 674 yards on 82 attempts last season and also caught 22 passes for 317 yards. He also is adept as a kick returner. Central Valley might try to get him the ball more often this season.

Whitehead has about two dozen scholarship offers from Division I colleges, including one from Alabama. Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State and West Virginia are a few of the schools he is considering the most.

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