By Mike White | Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12:15 p.m.
Items that I had tucked away in my notebook.
Pitt is off to one of its best starts in a while, and have you noticed how the team has a big WPIAL flavor to it.
Saturday against South Florida, pretty much half of the starters were from WPIAL schools. Is this unusual? I think so. I don't remember this many starters from the WPIAL in a while.
In order to check, I went back and looked at the starting lineup for a game in 2005. Only six of the starters were from WPIAL schools. On offense, it was lineman C.J. Davis (West Allegheny), tight end Erik Gill (Belle Vernon) and quarterback Tyler Palko (West Allegheny). On defense it was defensive back Darrelle Revis (Aliquippa), defensive back Josh Lay (Aliquippa) and defensive end Chris McKillop (Kiski Area).
Now look at Saturday's game. Mike Shanahan (Norwin) got his first start at receiver. And although Pitt lists Dorin Dickerson (West Allegheny) second on the depth chart at tight end, he is really a starter. Other starters on offense from the WPIAL were receiver Jonathan Baldwin (Aliquippa), offensive linemen Jason Pinkston (Baldwin), John Malecki (Franklin Regional) and Lucas Nix (Thomas Jefferson), and quarterback Bill Stull (Seton-LaSalle).
Bill Stull during his Seton-LaSalle days
Jonathan Baldwin during his Aliquippa days
Defensive starters from the WPIAL were lineman Mick Williams (Monessen), defensive backs Dom DeCicco (Thomas Jefferson) and Elijah Fields (Duquesne) and lnebacker Adam Gunn (Kiski Area).
All told, that's basically 11 starters from the WPIAL. Pitt can't live solely off WPIAL players. There aren't enough good ones. But apparently, if you get the right ones, they can make a difference.
Bey gets offer
Gateway running back-defensive back Orne Bey and receiver-defensive back Dayonne Nunley got their first Division I scholarship offers Tuesday from Miami, Ohio, of the Mid-American Conference.
Bey has carried the ball fewer than 50 times in eight games, but is averaging 13 yards a carry.
Speaking of Gateway prospects, Coach Terry Smith thinks he has a few juniors who could be recruited pretty heavily by Division I schools. The one I really like is linebacker-tight end Armstead Williams, who is 6 feet 3, 220 pounds. Very athletic and has a long, lean body.
Kyle Wilson scholarship fundraiser
Kyle Wilson was a Central Catholic High School football player who died last year. His family has set up a scholarship fund in Kyle's memory. The fund is for students in high school and college. The first fundraiser for the fund is tonight at Heinz Field.