Trib HSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Anthony Speca, Central Catholic

By:
Saturday, July 17, 2021 | 6:27 PM


The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 22 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

The leading tackler as a freshman at Central Catholic, Anthony Speca immediately became a problem at inside linebacker for opposing teams last fall.

A well-built, 6-foot-3, 220-pounder with closing speed and a mean streak, Speca rocketed up recruiting charts after a debut season that saw him help the Vikings to a second straight WPIAL Class 6A championship.

He is one of the youngest players on the 25-player TribHSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team, but he belongs. Speca was a MaxPreps Freshman All-American in 2020.

“For a freshman, he was a tremendous leader,” Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. “He really gets into pass coverage and can stab the ball out of the air. He is one of the most talented (underclassmen) I have had.”

While his pass-rushing skills are sharp, Speca also has soft hands. He will be a pass-catching threat and dependable blocker at tight end.

But defense is where he steals scenes.

“He runs downhill on defense and has the technique,” Totten said. “I haven’t seen a freshman dominate like that.”

A freshman season can be overwhelming to some players. Others, such as Speca, embrace every big moment — and learn from each.

“You need to do whatever it takes for your team to win,” Speca said. “Play low, and that adversity is a good thing and be taken head-on, instead of being avoided.”

Power Five programs are lining up to land Speca so they can add him to their future defensive schemes.

Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Purdue have offered.

Speca, who is from Bridgeville, said he is not committing “any time soon.”

“Anthony is a fantastic student,” Totten said. “I think he wants to follow his father into the medical field.”

Speca said Central is “preparing for anything” as a new season rises.

“We know it’ll take work, and it’s not going to be handed to us,” he said. “I’m looking to get better and learn more about the game of football and be a vital part in a championship run.”

Speca also could follow teammate Donovan Hinish to Notre Dame. Hinish will be a senior this season. The pair will thrust the Vikings into the title conversation again.

“They are both tremendous leaders,” Totten said. “On and off the field.”

Anthony Speca

Central Catholic

Sophomore

6-3, 220

TE/ILB

Committed to: Uncommitted

Division I offers: Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Purdue.

The leading tackler as a freshman at Central Catholic, Anthony Speca immediately became a problem at inside linebacker for opposing teams last fall.
A well-built, 6-foot-3, 220-pounder with closing speed and a mean streak, Speca rocketed up recruiting charts after a debut season that saw him help the Vikings to a second straight WPIAL Class 6A championship.
He is one of the youngest players on the 25-player TribHSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team, but he belongs. Speca was a MaxPreps Freshman All-American in 2020.
“For a freshman, he was a tremendous leader,” Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. “He really gets into pass coverage and can stab the ball out of the air.”
Speca also has soft hands. He will be a pass-catching threat and dependable blocker at tight end.
But defense is where he steals scenes.
“He runs downhill on defense and has the technique,” Totten said. “I haven’t seen a freshman dominate like that as a freshman.”
A freshman season can be overwhelming to some players. Others, like Speca, embrace every big moment — and learn from each one.
“You need to do whatever it takes for your team to win,” Speca said. “Play low, and that adversity is a good thing and be taken head-on, instead of being avoided.”
Power Five programs are lining up to land Speca so they can add him to their future defensive schemes.
Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Purdue have offered.
Speca, who is from Bridgeville, said he is not committing “any time soon.”
“Anthony is a fantastic student,” Totten said. “I think he wants to follow his father into the medical field.”
Speca said Central is “preparing for anything” as a new season rises.
“We know it’ll take work and it’s not going to be handed to us,” he said. “I’m looking to get better and learn more about the game of football, and be a vital part in a championship run.”
Speca also could follow teammate Donovan Hinish to Notre Dame. Hinish will be a senior this season. The pair will thrust the Vikings into the title conversation again.
“They are both tremendous leaders,” Totten said. “On and off the field.”

Anthony Speca
Central Catholic
Sophomore
6-3, 220
TE/ILB
Committed to: Uncommitted
Division I offers: Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Purdue.


https://www.hudl.com/video/3/14888320/5fb5f2636899630bc0df90fd

Hudl highlights here.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Tags:

More Football

Trib HSSN Football Team of the Week for Sept. 27, 2021
Trib HSSN Football Player of the Week for 2021 Week 4
Trib HSSN broadcast listings for week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3
Pine-Richland grad making stops as starting linebacker for Stony Brook
New-look offense has Shaler football team rolling

click me