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July 15, 2011

Pa. bounces back with big-time talent

Preseason State Rankings:

The state of Pennsylvania was way down in talent in the class of 2011 as evidenced by zero five-star prospects, only two players in the Rivals100 and a spattering of MAC and even DI-AA prospects in last year's Top 40. However, this year is a different story.

This year there is a five-star in Bishop McDevitt defensive end Noah Spence at the top of the rankings with another prospect, running back Rushel Shell from Hopewell, in striking range. And the overall depth in the state is much better than 2011, especially along the offensive line and at running back where there are many stars.

Spence and Shell check in at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the 2012 ranking and are followed by offensive lineman Chris Muller from Boyertown Area Senior, an early Rutgers commitment. Muller is one of many offensive linemen in the top 40 followed by Fox Chapel Area star Adam Bisnowaty (No. 5), Pennsbury big man J.J. Denman (Penn State commitment at No. 8), Archbishop Wood Catholic mauler Frank Taylor (Boston College commitment at No. 13) and his teammate Brandon Arcidiacono (Rutgers commitment at No. 19) as well as Lancaster Catholic standout Adam DePietro (Northwestern commitment at No. 18).

At running back, Shell leads the way but is followed by two other backs in the state' top 15. McDowell speedster Greg Garmon checks in at No. 6 and Downington East standout Drew Harris lands at No. 11. Linebacker is another position of strength led by Sto Rox stud Deaysean Rippy (No. 9), Valley View hitter Nyeem Wartman (Penn State commitment at No. 12) and McKeesport 'backer Tyrone Neal (No. 16).

There are many early commitments amongst the top 40 players in the state. Rutgers boasts four commitments while Penn State already has three and Pitt has two. Florida moved into the state to nab Archbishop Wood Catholic tight end Colin Thompson while Miami came calling for Central Bucks East defensive end Jake O'Donnell. Other out-of-state programs boasting commitments include Boston College, Northwestern (2), South Carolina, Michigan State, Virginia (2) and Maryland (2).

Also released on Friday are state rankings for Michigan, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Nevada. Look for the state rankings from Louisiana, New Jersey, Illinois, Nebraska and Utah on Monday.

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