HS football position by position breakdown: Scouting the offensive linemen
By: Chris Harlan
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | 10:06 PM
Western Pennsylvania’s depth at skill positions varies between seasons, with an extra strong running back or quarterback class every couple of years.
Yet oversized linemen seem to always be plentiful.
The WPIAL has more than dozen senior offensive and defensive linemen with Division I scholarship offers this year, and six are committed to ACC schools.
Butler’s Jake Kradel, Belle Vernon’s Blake Zubovic, and Thomas Jefferson’s Devin Danielson (defensive tackle) and Noah Palmer (defensive end) are Pitt recruits. North Allegheny’s Derek Devine and Beaver’s Bryce Ramer are committed to Virginia.
Among the other offensive-minded seniors with multiple D-I offers, Trinity tackle Ben Phillis (6-foot-5, 300 pounds) committed to Akron, Moon’s Nick Kotok (6-4, 260) chose Army and South Fayette’s Ray Eldridge (6-5, 255) picked Richmond.
Uncommitted Mt. Lebanon tackle Colby Sorsdal (6-foot-5, 285) has Bowling Green and Central Florida among his FBS scholarship offers.
Freeport senior Matt Charlton (6-4, 285), Armstrong’s Nate Baillie (6-2, 270) and Central Catholic’s Josh Trautman (6-3, 285) list FCS offers.
The junior class features Pine-Richland tackle Andrew Kristofic, who has becoming a national-caliber recruit.
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Jake Kradel
Senior, 6-4, 285
The Pitt recruit is a two-way lineman who earned first-team all-conference honors in Class 6A as a defensive tackle last season. Rivals ranks him as a three-star recruit and 28th nationally among offensive tackles. He chose the Panthers over offers from Ohio State, Purdue, UCLA, West Virginia, Wisconsin and others.
2. Blake Zubovic
Senior, 6-6, 295
Zubovic committed to Pitt over scholarship offers from Penn State, Michigan State, WVU, Minnesota, Purdue and others. He was a first-team all-conference offensive lineman in Class 4A last season when his Leopards averaged 195 rushing yards per game. The three-star recruit also played end and tackle on defense.
3. Andrew Kristofic
Junior, 6-6, 255
Kristofic was a second-team all-conference offensive lineman in Class 6A as a sophomore starter at right tackle for a team that averaged 286 yards passing. The three-star Rivals recruit already has scholarship offers from Pitt, Michigan State and Akron. He also played forward for Pine-Richland’s basketball team that won the WPIAL title and finished as the state 6A runner-up.
4. Derek Devine
Senior, 6-6, 260
The Virginia recruit earned all-conference honorable mention in Class 6A a year ago as North Allegheny’s right tackle. Devine and now-Notre Dame freshman Josh Lugg were line bookends for an offensive that averaged 275 rushing yards. The two-star recruit also had offers from Bowling Green and Eastern Kentucky.
5. Bryce Raymer
Senior, 6-5, 285
The Virginia commit was labeled a defensive tackle by Cavaliers coaches, but Raymer makes an impact now as a big blocker at tackle. He was part of a strong run-blocking offensive line that let quarterback Darius Wise score 24 times as a senior last year.
One to watch: Alex Meadows
Senior, 6-4, 255
Meadows wasn’t a starter last season on a senior-heavy roster but rotated in at guard and defensive tackle. He will likely contribute much more this year for
the WPIAL Class 5A runner-up. Meadows announced an offer from Pitt in March. His other offers are from Army, Buffalo, Toledo, Duquesne and Robert Morris. The two-sport athlete also wrestles.