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Written by: Pa Football News on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
#TEAMPA is the best players in the state regardless of classification. It is based on what they did in 2016 as well as what they will do in the future. Here is the 2016 offense:
Alex Smith, Sr. – Keystone Oaks, 6-4, 195
Smith was named PFN First Team quarterback and Offensive Player of the Year in Class 3A. He became the first quarterback in the WPIAL to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000. He finished his career with finished his career with 5,186 passing yards and ran for 1,940. Smith was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2016 Fabulous 22 and the Tribune-Review Terrific 25. The dual-threat quarterback will play at Duquesne.
Zane Dudek, Sr. – Armstrong, 5-10, 190
Dudek was named PFN First Team running back and Offensive Player of the year in Class 5A. He set the WPIAL single-season rushing record with 2,936 yards and 37 touchdowns while averaging over 10 yards per carry. Dudek finished his career fourth on the WPIAL all-time rushing list with 6,977 career yards and was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2016 Fabulous 22 and the Tribune-Review Terrific 25.. He will play college football at Yale.
D’Andre Swift, Sr. – St. Joseph’s Prep, 5-9, 215
Dudek was named a PFN First Team running back and Offensive Player of the year in Class 6A. The Georgia recruit ran for a career-best 1,564 rushing yards in 2016 and added 405 receiving yards, tallying 34 total touchdowns to help the Hawks win the Class 6A state championship.It was the third straight season in which Swift surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground and finished with 78 career scores. Swift was selected to play in U.S. Army All-American Bowl and is ranked the No. 2 prospect in Pennsylvania by Rivals and 38th overall.
Cody Gustafson, Sr. – Shippensburg, 6-2, 165
Gustafson was named a PFN First Team wide receiver in Class 4A and was Public Opinion Player of the Year and the Offensive MVP of the Mid Penn Colonial Division. He caught 84 passes for 1,583 yards and 15 touchdowns to lead Shippensburg to the District 3 Class 4A Championship Game. Gustafson finished his career with 170 catches and 2,862 receiving yards, both Ship records.
Paris Ford, Sr. – Steel Valley, 6-2, 190
Ford was named a PFN First Team wide receiver in Class 2A and helped lead Steel Valley its first state title. He scored 22 touchdowns and is the No. 3 prospect in Pennsylvania by Rivals and 68th player overall. Ford was the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Class 2A Player of the Year and a member of the Fabulous 22 and the Tribune-Review Terrific 25. He will attend the University of Pittsburgh next year.
Tyler Sear, Sr. – Neshannock, 6-5, 225
Sear was named a PFN First Team tight end in Class 2A and helped Neshannock reach the WPIAL Class 2A title game. Sear caught 27 passes for 364 yards and was an impressive blocker. He is committed to play his college football at Pitt.
Anthony Diodato, Sr. – Archbishop Wood, 6-5, 255
Diodato was named a PFN First Team offensive lineman and Lineman of the Year in Class 5A. He helped lead Archbishop Wood to a state championship by excelling on both sides of the ball. The offense accumulated close to 5,000 total yards with Diodato being a major factor up front. He also was a run stopper as a defensive tackle. Didato will play college football at Fordham.
Desmond Holmes, Sr. – Cardinal O’Hara, 6-6, 320
Holmes was name a PFN First Team offensive lineman and Lineman of the Year in Class 4A. He was a major factor on both sides of the ball as Cardinal O’Hara had an unbeaten regular season and lost in District 12 championship game to eventual state runner-up Imhotep. Holmes will continue his college career at Penn State.
Gabe Houy, Sr. – Upper St. Clair, 6-7, 265
Houy was named a PFN First Team offensive lineman in Class 5A and a member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22. He was already a high-level prospect coming into his senior season and is ranked 19th in Pennsylvania according to Rivals. Houy will attend the University of Pittsburgh to continue his football career.
Joshua Lugg, Sr. – North Allegheny, 6-7, 290
Lugg was named a PFN First Team offensive lineman in Class 6A and a member of both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 and the Tribune-Review Terrific 25. Lugg helped lead the North Allegheny offense in the trenches as the Tigers averaged 34.9 points per game. He was named to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and is ranked the 8th best prospect by Rivals. Lugg will play college football at Notre Dame.
C.J. Thorpe, Sr. – Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 6-5, 320
Thorpe was named a PFN First Team offensive lineman and Lineman of the year in Class 6A. He was a member of both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 and the Tribune-Review Terrific 25. Thorpe was instrumental on both sides of the ball as the Vikings won a state championship in 2015 and runner-up in 2016. He will attend Penn State to play football and is ranked the 7th best prospect in Pennsylvania by Rivals.
Raheem Blackshear, Sr. – Archbishop Wood, 5-10, 180
Blackshear was named a PFN First Team athlete in Class 5A and was a major contributor to Archbishop Wood’s state championship run. He rushed for 1,257 yards including 253 in the state title game against Harrisburg and also finished the season with 26 receptions for 433 yards. Blackshear led the Vikings with 25 touchdowns including one on defense. He will play college football at Temple.
D.J. Opsatnik, Sr. – West Allegheny, 5-8, 150
Opsatnik was named a PFN First Team kicker in Class 5A and an Allegheny Nine first team all-star. He kicked 36 career field goals which is a state record. Opsatnik has kicked five field goals over 40 yards and has a range of about 55 yards.
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