Scholarship offers start flowing in for Kiski Area defensive end Dilts

Friday, April 17, 2020 | 4:50 PM

College football coaches aren’t saddled with leading spring practices or monitoring workouts or even attending daylong meetings on campus during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many are stationed at home, hunkered over a computer screen, scouring highlights of high school athletes from around the country.

Apparently, a junior defensive end from Kiski Area has caught their attention.

Jack Dilts has accumulated four Division I scholarship offers, including ones from Duquesne, Bucknell and Albany over the past two weeks. He received his first offer from Penn on Feb. 8. He also has made unofficial visits to Kent State and Toledo and has interest from Temple, among others.

“(The recruiting process) has been different, but it’s been kind of better because all the coaches are home and watching film all day,” Dilts said.

Dilts (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) was a second-team all-conference selection at tight end last fall. He also made 43 tackles last season and had two sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and made five pass deflections.

He is being recruited to play defensive end.

“He has really great feet for a kid that size and great hands,” said Kiski Area coach Sam Albert, who has texted motivational messages to his players each day during the stay-at-home order. “He comes off the ball extremely well — flat back, head up. He has some really nice natural instincts getting to the ball at D-end.”

Dilts also is a Kiski Area wrestler who finished 24-8 this winter and took third place in the Section 1-AAA tournament at 285 pounds.

After wrestling season ended, Dilts joined his teammates in the weight room, but those workouts were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic that closed schools across Pennsylvania last month and forced student-athletes to work out on their own.

“I’ve been doing a lot of body weight stuff, and I have a weight set in my basement, so I’ve still been lifting,” he said. “I’ve gained about 15 pounds since the end of wrestling already.”

Dilts is the grandson of longtime Kiski Area coach Richard Dilts, the namesake of the Cavaliers’ on-campus stadium (Richard J. Dilts Field) that opened in 2018. Dick Dilts won more than 200 games at Kiski before retiring in 1993.

Now, Dilts wants to leave his own legacy at Kiski Area if given the opportunity.

He is hoping to have a productive summer filled with college visits and camps that will help him make a college decision, as long as they aren’t all canceled by the covid-19 outbreak.

“I’m definitely going to wait (to decide) until after I can visit (some schools),” he said.

Albert agrees increased exposure this summer will boost his recruiting profile. He also thinks adding some senior year highlights will be key to Dilts’ recruiting.

“I think once more schools (see him), especially if he has a good senior year,” Albert said, “I really think other schools will also jump on board.”

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at


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