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Counting down to signing day 2014: Linebackers

Written by Sam Werner on .

Two more position groups to get to today before the faxes start rolling into the Pitt football offices tomorrow morning. First off, let's take a peak at the linebackers...

Verbal commitments:
Jamal Davis (6-2, 215 lbs)
McKinley High School (Canton, Ohio)
Rivals: 3*, NR
Scout: 3*, No. 100 OLB
247: 3*, No. 78 OLB

James Folston, Jr. (6-3, 201 lbs)
Cocoa High School (Cocoa, Fla.)
Rivals: 3*, NR
Scout: 2*, NR
247: 2*, No. 176 S

Quintin Wirginis (6-2, 225 lbs)
Fox Chapel High School (Fox Chapel, Pa.)
Rivals: 2*, NR
Scout: 3*, No. 111 OLB
247: 2*, No. 117 OLB

Much like with the defensive linemen, I'd be surprised if any of these guys sees the field in 2014. Each could definitely have an impact long-term, but linebacker is just a position where Pitt is pretty set for next season. The only real loss from this year's team is Shane Gordon and he was on and off the field so much due to injuries, that Pitt has a couple guys who could step in and fill that role (though it will probably be Matt Galambos).
That said, each of these prospects is a bit interesting. Davis was a late addition to the class after Pitt offered him in mid-January, and didn't take long to make a decision after that. Folston, meanwhile, is a bit of a football legacy. His father spent nine years with the Oakland Raiders and his older brother, Tarean, just wrapped up his freshman year as a running back at Notre Dame (which should make Notre Dame's return to Heinz Field in 2015 a bit more interesting). I'm interested to see what Wirginis looks like when he gets on the field, too, as he missed his entire senior season at Fox Chapel after suffering a Lisfranc injury during 7-on-7 drills in the offseason. He's back playing basketball at Fox Chapel right now, so all indications are that he's good to go.

 

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Allderdice's "twinsanity" goes national ..... District football recruiting list

Written by Mike White on .

Back in December, the Post-Gazette ran a story on "twinsanity" with Allderdice's boys basketball team. Credit coach Buddy Valinsky for coming up with that term.

Now Allderdice's story is going national.

Valinsky said NBC news will do a story Thursday on "twinsanity" at Allderdice. Valinsky has three sets of identical twins on his team - juniors Kenny and Keith Robinson, seniors Davaughn and Javaughn Moultrie and sophomores Tim and James Jackson. (the twins are all pictured below). 

On top of that, the twin players, point guard Juwan Ledbetter has a fraternal twin, Jalen, who keeps the scorebook for Allderdice.

 

The "twinsanity" also has been written about on national web sites.

 

The twins are helping Allderdice to a successful season. Allderdice is 12-4 and plays at undefeated Obama Friday in a big City League game.

District football recruits

Tomorrow is "letter-of-intent" day, the first day high school senior football players can sign a binding letter of intent with a college. Here are the WPIAL players who have committed to Division I-A colleges.

 

AKRON - Brock Boxen, Beaver Falls (DL, 6-3 – 260); Chandler Kincade, Blackhawk (QB, 6-4, 210).

BALL STATE – Jake McPhatter, New Castle (RB-DB, 5-11, 170).  

BOWLING GREEN - Andrew Podbielski, Blackhawk (TE-DL,  6-5 – 235).

FLORIDA STATE – J.J. Cosentino, Central Catholic (QB, 6-4, 215).

KENT STATE – Connor Shinsky, Knoch (OL-DL, 6-5, 250).

MASSACHUSETTS – Charan Singh, Franklin Regional (QB-DB, 6-1, 170).

MICHIGAN - Chase Winovich, Thomas Jefferson ( LB,  6-3, 216).

MICHIGAN STATE – Montae Nicholson, Gateway (WR-DB, 6-3, 205).

NAVY – Tory Delmonico, West Allegheny (RB-LB, 6-3, 203).

OHIO STATE - Malik Hooker (WR-DB, 6-2, 185).

PENN STATE – Troy Apke, Mt. Lebanon (WR, 6-2, 186). 

PITT - Rori Blair, Upper St. Clair (DE, 6-3, 225); Alex Bookser, Mt. Lebanon (OL, 6-6, 295); Dennis Briggs, Shady Side Academy (RB-DB, 5-11, 195); JaQuan Davidson, Elizabeth Forward (QB-WR-DB, 6-2, 173); Mike Grimm, Bethel Park (OL, 6-6, 325); Quintin Wirginis, Fox Chapel (LB, 6-2, 225); Elijah Zeise, North Allegheny (WR-DB, 6-2, 185).

TEMPLE -  Delvon Randall, Gateway (WR-DB, 6-1, 185); Brenon Thrift, Gateway (LB, 6-3, 230); Lenny Williams, Sto-Rox (QB, 5-11, 197).

TOLEDO – Terry Swanson, Aliquippa (RB-DB, 5-10, 187).

VANDERBILT – Tre Tarpley, Central Catholic (DB, 6-1, 195).

VIRGINIA - Darrious Carter, Indiana (DE, 6-5, 205).

VIRGINIA TECH – Shai McKenzie, Washington (RB, 6-0, 216).

WEST VIRGINIA – Sage Curry, Beaver Falls (LB, 6-1, 200); Jaleel Fields, Aliquippa (OL-DL, 6-2, 287); Dravon Henry, Aliquippa (RB-DB, 6-2, 187); Ricky Rogers, Gateway (WR, 6-1, 200).

 

 

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Pharrell Williams to perform at Oscars on March 2

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

PHARRELL DSCF0087 RE1 FULL 10x8 LRSinger-songwriter-producer Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” at the Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced.. 

The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.

“Happy,” which Williams wrote and produced for “Despicable Me 2,” is nominated for Original Song. The three other nominated songs are "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," "Let It Go" from "Frozen" and "The Moon Song" from "Her."

 

 

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The Super Bowl lawyer ad that's rocking the internet

Written by Kim Lyons on .

Personal injury lawyers are probably those in the legal profession who most heavily advertise their services on television. But Savannah, Ga. lawyer Jamie Casino (yes, that's his name), has raised the bar way, way high with his cinematic, heavy metal, two-minute tale of personal transformation that aired during the Super Bowl in the Savannah area.

 

Your move, Edgar Snyder.

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Empty Netter Assists - 02-04-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "It felt like a little while, a lot longer than it probably was, trying to be patient with the puck there and wait for an opening." - James Neal on his overtime goal.

-The Ottawa Citizen's recap. The Senators have not won in Pittsburgh since Jan. 10, 2012.

-The Associated Press' recap. "I just tried to get my leg, my glove over there and try to stop it. I was glad it went in my glove." - Marc-Andre Fleury on his glove save against Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson in the third period.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Fleury's save deserves its own clip:

-A great look at the save:

-Robert Bortuzzo versus Ottawa's Zack Smith:

-A good look at the fight:

-A few good looks at Neal's goal:

-Ottawa's Chris Neil tried to clean up the stray lid of Tanner Glass:

-Sidney Crosby fended off Ottawa's Jared Cowen:

-Dan Bylsma let everyone know "Superman IV" was his favorite of the series:

-We think.

-Ottawa's Craig Anderson fought off this puck:

-Fleury speaks:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Neal speaks:

-Kris Letang continues to deal with an illness.

-Has Brooks Orpik's game declined?

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins recalled defensemen Nick D’Agostino and Harrison Ruopp from Wheeling.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Eric Hartzell was named the AHL goaltender of the week.

-Happy 28th birthday to former Penguins forward Mark Letestu. A free agent signing late in the 2006-07 season, Letestu spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2009-10, he appeared in 10 games and scored one goal. He saw action in four playoff games in 2010 and recorded on assist. Last season, Letestu set career highs in games (64), goals (14), assists (13) and points (27). In seven postseason games last spring, he recorded one assist. After 11 games and one assist this season, Letestu was traded to the Blue Jackets for a draft pick. In 85 regular season games with the Penguins, Letestu scored 29 points. In 11 postseason games, he recorded two assists. He is still a member of the Bue Jackets.

-After the Jump: Thomas Vanek says no thanks to the Islanders and John Tortorella returns to the Canucks.

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