Harlan on recruiting: Steel Valley’s Strothers balancing playoffs, visits

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | 8:09 PM

Steel Valley's Amonte Strothers is balancing two missions: recruiting and repeating.

The senior recently visited Purdue's campus, but now he wants to see Robert Morris' stadium. If November goes his way, Strothers will celebrate another WPIAL title and commit to a college, all within the next few weeks.

“It's definitely tough to work some things in because I have to focus on my team and get us right,” said Strothers, who's a captain for Steel Valley. “But I also have to get my recruitment right and visit other schools. It's tough, but it's not too hard to manage.”

The 6-foot-2, 178-pound cornerback visited West Lafayette, Ind., two weekends ago for Purdue's game with Nebraska and left Indiana impressed. He also has scholarship offers from Syracuse, Kent State, Toledo, Delaware, Georgetown and Duquesne, but the Boilermakers are his early favorites.

“I'm still thinking, but I'm leaning toward there a little bit,” he said. “They're definitely a top option.”

Strothers is a newcomer to the sport but earned all-conference honors as a first-year player last season. Now, he likes the idea of playing Big Ten football. He also visited State College for Penn State's game with Michigan but doesn't yet have a Nittany Lions offer.

Strothers has “enjoyed every minute” of the recruiting process, he said, but it's different than he expected. But, he added, it's been different in a good way.

“There are some things that I didn't think would wow me,” he said, “but definitely a lot of things wowed me.”

Strothers already visited Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Delaware, but when he visited Purdue on Oct. 28, he was wowed.

“I love everything about it,” he said. “I couldn't really get to see everything, but so far everything they've shown me was pretty great. I loved their field, their weight room was awesome, spectacular. The game was really nice. The atmosphere was lovely. The campus was very big. The coaching staff was super nice. Everything was top notch.”

Steel Valley (9-0) won WPIAL and PIAA titles last year and is the top seed in the Class 2A playoffs this season. The Ironmen face Burgettstown on Friday in the quarterfinals. Two more wins, and the team will return to Robert Morris for the finals.

“Hopefully I can commit before December,” he said. “I'm trying to slim it down and (decide) before we get to RMU, before we get to the WPIAL championship.”

If so, he'll have a busy month ahead.

• Former Gateway star JaQuan Brisker, now a freshman at Lackawanna College, announced a scholarship offer from West Virginia on Wednesday. The 6-1, 197-pound defensive back has 50 tackles and three interceptions in eight games this season. Lackawanna finishes its season Sunday against Georgia Military College.

• Woodland Hills senior Rodney Dennard committed Saturday to Howard. The defensive back and running back also listed FCS offers from Duquesne, New Hampshire and St. Francis (Pa.). Howard's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach is Brennan Marion, a former Greensburg Salem star.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.


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