"Going Camping" is Varsity Blog's tour of some high school football practices and camps in the area. Tuesday's stops were at Central Valley and South Fayette.
When you mention Central Valley, one player comes to mind right away. Robert Foster.
Foster is the star senior receiver who has scholarship offers from across the country. Scouting services rank him among the top five receivers in the country. Foster narrowed his list of colleges to seven earlier this summer and said things are still at seven. He is adamant that he has no favorite. The seven are Pitt, Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, USC and Oregon.
I asked him why he has Oregon on his final list, and even USC? I said there is no way a kid from Western Pa. will go to Oregon - or even USC.
"Terrelle Pryor kept putting Oregon on his finalists. There was no way he was going there. Nobody from around here is going that far," I said.
Foster just laughed. "You never know. I might."
Foster will be the subject in tomorrow's Blue Chip Chat in the Post-Gazette. Today's subject was Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson.
**** Foster already was pretty good, but Central Valley coach Mark Lyons says Foster might be even better this year.
"You'd think maybe he couldn't be better, but he really is," Lyons said. "All the college scouts who came through in the spring all were pleasantly surprised on where he's at with his running routes. Our receivers coach [Adam Caltury] has done a great job with him. The speed is there and I think he's gotten thicker."
**** Lyons says Foster is a little naive when it comes to how good he is and also about the college recruiting. "There was one time this spring Oklahoma was supposed to come in to see him," Lyons said. "So I see him later in the day and I ask him if Oklahoma was in. He says, 'Are their colors red and white?' I tell him 'Yeah.' He says, 'Coach, are they Division I?'"
Below, Foster and teammates "stretch" things out.
**** Central Valley's quarterback starting quarterback might be Nathan Climo, a transfer from Crestview High School in Ohio.
"He's been a pleasant surprise," Lyons said. "We don't have to spend much time on mechanical stuff with him. He has all the mechanics down. He's a 4.0 student, too. And how about one of the questions he and his family asked when they transferred here was 'will my credits carry over so I can vie for valedictorian?' What a refreshing thing that is to hear."
**** OK, it was raining at the start of practice. So I was a sissy and didn't stay. Watching football practice in the rain can be the worst. But I did talk to Pitt recruit Zach Challingsworth for a while before practice. He has put on 20 to 25 pounds since last season. Looks good. He'll be the Blue Chip Chat subject later in the week.
But how about this: Challingsworth is a senior, but is only 16 years old. He doesn't turn 17 until Oct. 31. So he will be a freshman at Pitt next year and only 17 years old, probably playing against some players who are 23. Challingsworth hopes to be redshirted at Pitt.
**** Challingsowrth really is a "special" player - as in special teams. Last year, he blocked six extra points and three punts. That's unheard of.
"We spend a lot of time practicing special teams," Challingsworth said. "Coach Rossi teaches us a lot on special teams."