By Mike White | Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 4:25 p.m.
Some football recruiting notes
A WPIAL football player from the class of 2011 has decided on a Division I college. Well, the kid is "sort of" a WPIAL player.
Rob Kugler is the son of new Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler. Rob Kugler has never played a down of football in the WPIAL, but he and his family moved into the North Allegheny district in April after playing last season at Orchard Park High School in Buffalo. His father was a Buffalo Bills assistant coach last year. Rob Kugler is a junior and his younger brother, Patrick, a freshman.
Rob Kugler is a talented tight end-defensive end and Tuesday made a verbal commitment to Purdue of the Big Ten Conference. North Allegheny coach Art Walker said Kugler had about 10 Division I scholarship offers. Among the others to offer Kugler were Stanford, West Virginia and Syracuse.
Rob Kugler is 6 feet 3, 230 pounds and was an all-Western New York selection last season as a defensive end. Walker said Purdue wants Kugler as a tight end.
"He told me he wanted to make an early commitment, so it would be off his mind and he could be focused on being part of a new team and getting better," Walker said.
"I think Purdue is looking at him more as a tight end, but they know he's one of those kids who is kind of marketable. They might take him in spring ball as a freshman, say we need some help at defensive end, try him there and he'll be able to do it."
Althought Kugler has never played at North Allegheny, Walker has watched a little film on him and he also has seen him at a few workouts. He has been impressed.
"He moves well, has good feet for a kid his size and good body control," Walker said.
Walker said Kugler has a 4.0 grade-point average.
"The thing you like about him is he carries himself so well," Walker said. "He already fits in with the kids here based on his personality. He's humble and just seems to work hard. He didn't come in here acting like he was anything special. He came in here, wanted to get to work in the weightroom and classroom, and get acclimated to everything."
Kugler also has a younger brother, Patrick, who is a freshman and a prospect for the future. Patrick is 6-3, 230 pounds.
I saw Patrick play briefly in an AAU basketball tournament a few weeks ago. He's impressive physically. He's already big and looks like he might keep growing into a lineman. He has enough agility to maybe be a good lineman someday.
Both Kuglers played varsity basketball at Orchard Park. Walker isn't sure if Rob will continue to play basketball.
"Rob's a football guy first. I don't know if basketball is something he'll hang up or not," Walker said. "We haven't even had that discussion."
Pitt gets two recruits
Colleague Paul Zeise is reporting that Pitt has landed two football recruits for the class of 2011.
Here is some of what Paul has reported:
Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt received a verbal commitment from two players -- including highly regarded Don Bosco Prep (Nj.) quarterback Gary Nova -- bringing his total for next year's recruiting class to three.
Both Nova (6-2, 230 pounds) and Central Dauphin offensive guard Artie Rowell (6-2, 296 pounds) committed to the Panthers last night. Nova picked the Panthers over offers from Rutgers, Boston College, Colorado, Vanderbilt and Virginia while Rowell chose the Panthers over offers from Nortwestern and Temple.
Nova threw for 1,668 yards and threw 23 touchdown passes and three interceptions last season.
Pitt already had a commitment from DeMatha (Md.) tight end Sam Collura.