Recruiting outlook for some of top York-Adams League football players in 2021 class
For months, it appeared there might not be a 2020 high school football season.
Now that the final games have been played, a number of local gridiron standouts are eagerly waiting for opportunities to continue their careers in college.
A few members of the 2021 class have decided which programs they'll suit up for next fall, but several of the York-Adams League’s elite athletes are waiting for their first offers during a year when recruiting has been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is a list of the recruiting statuses of some of the area’s top football players by position.
Quarterback: New Oxford’s Connor Beans was a Y-A D-II second-team all-star but was third in the league with 1,268 passing yards and led the Colonials to an undefeated record in their first season in the division. Beans holds five offers, all at the NCAA D-III level, including Lebanon Valley College and Widener University.
Running back: Y-A running backs have struggled to get offers despite consistently strong statistics.
Northeastern’s Manny Capo followed up a league-leading junior season with a solid senior year, despite the Bobcats’ issues generating offense. Capo closed his career with 3,571 rushing yards but has yet to receive an offer to play in college.
Much like Capo, York Catholic’s De’Kzeon Wyche has been one of the top backs in the league for three seasons and is still waiting for a school to offer him. Wyche put up 933 yards as a member of York Tech before he joined the Irish and finished his career with 2,740 yards.
During Central York’s run to the state title game, much of the focus was on quarterback Beau Pribula, and rightly so. But the Panthers had another rushing threat that had a strong season. Isaiah Sturgis stepped up to take over the lead in the backfield, and his 701-yard season put him at 1,303 career rushing yards, but he also is still waiting for a college to offer him.
Wide receiver: Unlike their friends carrying the ball, Y-A pass catchers have had more luck getting attention from NCAA coaches.
Red Lion’s Randy Fizer played quarterback this season because the Lions needed him at that position, but he will play wideout in college. During his first two varsity seasons, Fizer set a number of records at Red Lion as a wideout, racking up nearly 1,400 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns, good enough to earn offers from NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Wagner College and NCAA D-II Lake Erie College.
Like Fizer, Central York’s Judah Tomb received his first offer from Lake Erie but recently added NCAA D-II Edinboro University to his list of interested schools. Tomb led the Y-A League with 804 receiving yards this season and scored 15 touchdowns, in addition to starring on defense and making big plays as a returner.
Tomb’s teammate Taylor Wright-Rawls has a number of NCAA D-I FCS schools after him. Wright-Rawls had a dominant sophomore season and finished his Panthers’ career with 1,751 receiving yards and holds offers from Saint Francis University, Marist College and Bryant University.
Northeastern’s Kaden Hamilton picked up a pair of offers this year from schools at different levels. NCAA D-I FCS Valparaiso University and NCAA D-III Gettysburg College offered him during a Y-A D-II second-team all-star season.
York High’s Rashim Lee earned a Y-A D-I first-team all-star nomination but is still waiting for a program to offer him a spot at the next level. Lee had 394 yards and five touchdowns for the Bearcats and proved to be a key target in the red zone and was also able to stretch a defense with big-play ability.
Tight end: Overshadowed by Tomb and Wright-Rawls at times, and moved to tight end because of talent at the quarterback position, Central York’s Kyle Fontes’ abilities still shined through. The top tight end in Y-A D-I is headed to play at NCAA D-I FCS Bucknell University after he had 20 catches and 271 receiving yards this season.
New Oxford’s Torbyn Eakins was the Y-A D-II first-team all-star tight end and proved himself enough to earn a roster spot at the position at NCAA D-II Seton Hill.
Linemen: Kennard-Dale’s Gabe Hulslander was a Y-A D-II all-star on both sides of the ball and joins Tomb as players with offers from Edinboro. Central York’s Josh Gaffney is committed to play at NCAA D-I FCS University at Albany.
Red Lion’s Kairen Gordon-Bey and York High’s Saumir Deshields and Terence Drakeford are just a few names of players to be all-stars who are still waiting for offers.
Defensive line: Red Lion’s Davante Dennis went right to the top with his first offer. Dennis picked up an offer from NCAA D-I Central Michigan and then added the University of Massachusetts to his list.
York Suburban’s Isaiah Pineda played tight end and defensive end but earned all-star honors on defense and holds offers from Lake Erie and McDaniel College.
Linebacker: Central York’s defensive leader Jack Smith was an all-star for the Panthers this season and has an offer to play at NCAA D-I FCS Sacred Heart University.
Suburban has another defender headed to play in college. Dermot Pogson has offers to play for NCAA D-III schools King’s College and Washington and Jefferson College.
Defensive backs: York High’s Antoine Beard and Marcellus John have proven to be consistent players with the ability to tackle and take the ball away but still await an opportunity to play at the next level.
West York’s Joey DeJesus has been a consistent all-star on a Bulldogs team that has been rebuilding, and despite some visits, is still waiting for an official offer.
Kicker/punter: Last but not least is Dallastown’s Mitchell Groh. The Wildcats’ special- teams ace holds offers from NCAA D-I Penn State, Miami University (Ohio) and NCAA D-I FCS Fordham University and was named the MaxPreps Pennsylvania first-team all-star punter.
— Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.