WPIAL position-by-position breakdown: Scouting the offensive linemen
Friday, August 16, 2019 | 7:35 PM
The offensive line is always strong spot for the WPIAL, and it is among the deepest positions again this season.
This year’s group of offensive linemen is led by Mars senior Michael Carmody, a two-sport standout who drew Power 5 scholarship offers from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12. He ultimately committed to Notre Dame, a popular decision among WPIAL linemen in recent years.
Pine-Richland tackle Andrew Kristofic signed with Notre Dame in 2018, and North Allegheny lineman Josh Lugg picked the Irish two years earlier.
Besides Carmody, at least a half-dozen senior offensive or defensive linemen have already committed to Division I schools: Central Catholic’s A.J. Beatty, Hempfield’s Fintan Brose (Delaware), Thomas Jefferson’s Mac Duda (Princeton), Seneca Valley’s Josh Kaltenberger (Purdue), North Allegheny’s Jake Lugg (Harvard) and North Hills’ Ronald Novosedliak (Central Michigan).
Many more remain undecided.
And with Baldwin’s Dorien Ford, Union’s Aaron Gunn and Central Catholic’s Elliot Donald leading the 2021 class, it’s a position that should remain strong for the future.
1. Michael Carmody
Senior, 6-6, 295
Carmody helped Mars rush for 2,810 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, earning him first-team all-conference honors in the Class 5A Northern. He committed in June to Notre Dame. The four-star Rivals recruit is ranked as the second-best prospect in the state from the 2020 class. He had more than two dozen offers, a list that included Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia, along with Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan, Miami and Stanford. The two-sport athlete also played center for the Mars boys basketball team that won the WPIAL title last winter.
2. Josh Kaltenberger
Senior, 6-5, 280
As Seneca Valley’s center, Kaltenberger anchored an offensive line that led the Raiders to the WPIAL Class 6A championship game last season. He was named second-team all-conference. He committed in June to Purdue. He held more than a dozen Division I offers including Colorado State, Kent State, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Temple and Toledo.
3. Jake Lugg
Senior, 6-4, 287
Lugg helped North Allegheny go undefeated in the regular season last year as the Tigers rushed for 2,807 yards and 44 touchdowns behind his offensive line. He committed to Harvard in June over offers from Air Force, Akron, Bowling Green, Colorado State and Nebraska, among others. His brother, Josh, plays offensive line at Notre Dame.
4. Aaron Gunn
Junior, 6-4, 305
Gunn plays for one of the smallest schools in the WPIAL, but he’s one of the area’s biggest talents. He earned first-team all-conference honors in the Class A Big Seven last season. He lists offers from West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan State and Western Michigan. His brother, Joe, plays baseball for Penn State.
5. Mac Duda
Senior, 6-4, 275
Duda earned first-team all-conference honors in Class 4A last season as Thomas Jefferson reached Heinz Field for the fourth consecutive year. The Jaguars rushed for 3,202 yards and 49 TDs with Duda leading the push. He committed to Princeton in June. He held nearly 30 offers including many Mid-American, Patriot and Ivy League schools.
ONE TO WATCH
Junior, 6-4, 283
Ford has as much potential as any lineman in the WPIAL. He earned all-conference honorable mention for defense last season, but Baldwin expects even more from the two-way lineman this fall. He lists offers from Pitt, Penn State, Akron, Iowa State, Maryland and Nebraska, among others.
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .