TribHSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Robert Dickerson, North Hills

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Thursday, July 1, 2021 | 5:07 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.

Robert Dickerson’s idea of a summer vacation is maybe taking a couple sips of water between drills.

Less than two days after playing in an elite baseball tournament outside Atlanta, the North Hills senior was at Martorelli Stadium on Tuesday morning, running wind sprints in 90-degree heat with his football teammates.

“I’m excited for this year,” he said.

The speedy 6-foot, 190-pound senior wide receiver/defensive back is expected to play a much bigger role in the North Hills offense this season. Last season, he averaged only about seven offensive touches per game but still managed to finish with more than 1,000 total yards, including 22 receptions for 347 yards and six touchdowns and 29 carries for another 265.

“Robert is just a physical specimen, and he really works at improving his body,” North Hills coach Pat Carey said. “He does a lot of things that he’s gained speed and agility and strength, and all of those things are a tribute to his hard work and we’re hoping it definitely will pan out on the field.”

A stress fracture limited Dickerson to two games as a sophomore with zero touches on offense. He started his junior year by returning the opening kickoff of the 2020 season 84 yards for a touchdown.

“I really hadn’t played a game for like two years before that,” Dickerson said. “Everyone was kind of shocked. I kind of surprised myself. But I put in the work, so I know what I can do.”

All told, his team-high nine touchdowns came from an average distance of 52 yards.

On the other side of the ball, he was named a first-team all-conference defensive back.

Dickerson is much more than a football player. He is a legitimate two-sport star who was named a first-team all-section outfielder after leading the Indians baseball team in batting average, home runs and RBIs.

He plays for the 18U East Coast Dodgers Scout team, an elite Wake Forest, N.C.-based travel team.

Dickerson said Richmond, Pitt, Penn State and Kent State have expressed interest for baseball, a sport he has played since age 4.

And while Dickerson wants to play both sports in college, he realizes football will open more scholarship doors.

He has Division I football offers from Bucknell, Fordham, Holy Cross and New Hampshire. Dickerson, who runs a 4.5 40, is being recruited primarily as an athlete.

Dickerson also plays for a 7-on-7 travel football team, and Carey understands the demands his star senior is facing as a two-sport standout. Carey said Dickerson attends voluntary football drills “about half the time.”

“He’s trying to be here,” Carey said. “ … (But) it’s hard. It’s tough for kids these days. All these sports are pulling kids in their direction. Whether it’s basketball or baseball, they are doing it all year-round.

“As a coach, I don’t want to be the guy that’s in the middle of that. Kids have to do what they have to do. As long as they can get with us and understand our schemes and be ready to go in August, we will be happy with that.”

Dickerson is pleased with his increased role planned for this season. He will be moving primarily to slot receiver, which will allow more jet sweeps and getting the ball in his hands more often.

“I still think his story is a little untold,” Carey said. “I think this year is going to tell a lot about who he is as a high school player. … I’m anxious to see how it goes.”

Robert Dickerson

North Hills

Senior

6-0/190

WR/DB

Division I offers: Bucknell, Fordham, Holy Cross, New Hampshire

2020 statistics: 22 receptions, 347 yards; 29 carries for 265 yards; 9 TDs

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