By Mike White | Friday, Aug. 28, 8:30 a.m.
Some WPIAL football players who sign with Division I colleges don't make it at the major-college level, for a variety of reasons, from grades to a lack of talent.
These days, a popular place for those who don't make is California University of Pa.
The Vulcans' season started last night against Saginaw Valley State. But take a look at California's roster and it's clear John Luckhardt's place has become a favorite for WPIAL players on the rebound from Division I football. This isn't a bad thing. I'm just saying it's interesting.
Last year, California's quarterback was Kevin McCabe, a Pine-Richland graduate who left the University of Virginia program. McCabe has used up his eligiblity. On this year's roster, I count at least five former WPIAL players who either played at a Division I college, or were supposed to play on the major-college level.
Linebacker Dontey Brown spent the past few seasons at Penn State, but is finishing his eligibility at California. Running back Windell Brown, a Duquesne graduate, was once a Pitt recruit but is now at California. Dane Conwell, a running back-linebacker on Upper St. Clair's state championship team a few years ago, left the Indiana Hoosiers and is now at California.
Two other players were supposed to be freshman at Mid-American Conference schools this year, but are on California's roster. They are Gateway defensive lineman B.J. Stevens, who signed with Miami, Ohio, and former Mckeesport fullback-linebacker Nico Price, who had signed with Ohio. Both Price and Stevens were Fabulous 22 members last season.
You can be sure Luckhardt is more than happy to accept these players.