MaxPreps 2013 Pennsylvania Preseason Fab 5 presented by the Army National Guard
1. St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia)Head coach:
Gabe Infante2012 finish:
10-1, lost in Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAAA championshipTeam preview
coach Gabe Infante thought his team was a year ahead of schedule last
season. The Hawks ripped through the Philadelphia Catholic League Class
AAAA Division, only to have their nemesis, six-time league champ La
Salle, resurface in the league championship and deny the Hawks their
first PIAA Class AAAA (large schools) state playoff appearance.
This should be the year the Hawks break through the threshold. That's
because the whole skill nucleus returns, including arguably the best
player in the state, 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior defensive
back/offensive back John Reid
, and Michigan-bound Jon Daniel Runyan
6-4, 250-pound son of former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan who's grown
an inch and added 25 pounds.
"What I've been preaching from Day
One, at the level we're hoping to compete at, is that it's a process,"
Infante said. "For as much as we want to speed that process up, we need
to be patient, yet have a sense of urgency among ourselves. We need to
manage the expectations. We have to maintain our composure and poise
through the process."
See the Top 15 Pennsylvania football dynasties2. Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh)Head coach:
10-3, lost in WPIAL finalTeam preview
The Wolverines came closest
to defeating the undefeated North Allegheny, which finished 16-0 and
the nation's No. 4 team in the final MaxPreps Xcellent 25. A host of players
return for the Wolverines. Topping the list are eight back on defense,
led by seniors Harry Randall
(6-0, 184-pound quarterback/safety), Daechaud Ausbrooks
175-pound safety/running back), Donte Broadus
(6-2, 205-pound wide
receiver/linebacker), Trevon Mathis
(6-foot, 173-pound wide
receiver/defensive back) and Chris David
(5-11, 172-pound wide
receiver/defensive back). Watch for budding stars Daniel Gibson
a 6-3, 265-pound two-way junior lineman who started both ways as a
sophomore, and 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore Miles Sanders
, who's also
receiving interest from Michigan.
"We have a lot of team speed,
but we still have a young offensive line, starting two sophomores.
They're big, but they're sophomores," Wolverines coach George Novak
said. "We have eight guys back on defense that started for us. We'll be
in the race."
See last season's Pennsylvania all-league teams3. Coatesville
13-3, won District 1 Class AAAA, lost in
PIAA state championshipTeam preview
Red Raiders won't sneak up on anyone this year, though head coach Matt
Ortega would like it. Not with nine starters back on defense, including
two of the best players in Pennsylvania in 6-4, 245-pound linebacker/tight
end Tyler Burke
(Maryland) and 5-10, 185-pound running back/defensive
back Daquan Worley
(Penn State). Add in some considerable size in 6-6,
290-pound Colin Raysor
, and more speed in Isaih Flamer
and Devonte Suber
and Coatesville has a good chance of playing again in December.
It's core nucleus won't forget walking off the field after an embarrassing state championship loss to North Allegheny.
selling point this year, now that we have the bull's eye on our chest,
is that other teams are going to be excited to play us," Ortega said.
"We're going to have go week-in, week-out and elevate our game. If we
do that and stay healthy, we're going to be pretty good."See every Division I signee from Pennsylvania last year4. Gateway (Monroeville)Head coach:
Donnie Militzer2012 finish:
9-2, lost in WPIAL quarterfinals Team preview
Militzer inherits a great situation from previous coach Terry Smith, now
an assistant coach at Temple. The Gators return arguably two of the
best players in western Pennsylvania in 6-2, 205-pound senior wide
receiver/safety Montae Nicholson
, who's received more than 40 offers, and 6-1,
180-pound wide receiver/defensive back Anthony Davis
(Temple). Jimmy Moore
, a 5-10, 175-pound senior, will handle the quarterback position.
Look for 6-5, 260-pound senior center/defensive tackle Joseph Robak
6-2, 240-pound senior right tackle/defensive end Stephen Gross
"When you come into Gateway, you have your eyes set
on a WPIAL championship. That's my goal and our staff's goal, to play at
Heinz field and end up at Hershey [in the state championship],"
Militzer said. "We'll be a spread team and we're trying to exploit our
speed as much as possible. Defensively, no one threw for over 50 yards
against Gateway, because of the secondary. We feel we have the best
safety combination in the country (Nicholson and Davis). The feeling is
we have to break through this year."
See last season's MaxPreps Computer Rankings for Pennsylvania, presented by the Army National Guard5. Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg)Head coach:
14-1, District 3 champion, PIAA Class AAA semifinalist
Crusaders will again be the team to beat in Class AAA (after three straight titles) and have the kind
of size, speed and talent to beat many Class AAAA teams in the state.
Perennial Philadelphia powerhouse Archbishop Wood is lurking in the eastern half of the state, but tailback Andre Robinson
is a 5-11,
215-pound junior who's received more than 15 offers, including Notre Dame, and that
puts the Crusaders a notch above. Rashad Lawson
senior) rushed for more than 1,000 yards. What makes McDevitt
special, aside from Robinson, is 6-2, 235-pound tight end/defensive end
(Penn or Princeton), 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker Nate
Monroe, and talented underclassmen: Steve Marrazzo Jr.
(6-2, 220-pound junior
defensive end), Anthony Long
(6-3, 265-pound sophomore offensive lineman), Myles Turner
(6-2, 250-pound junior defensive tackle) and Kobay White
sophomore wide receiver).
"Last year was a rebuilding
year and we were shocked as anyone that we were 14-1," Crusaders' coach
Jeff Weachter said. "We return four out of five offensive linemen. If we
stay healthy, this is going to be a really good football team for the
next two years, and at least three, because our sophomore class as has
six very good wide receivers."