Editor’s note: The following is an update of former area high school players who are currently playing football in college. Although we try to include all local players, a few are almost always left out. Not all programs posted an updated roster at the time of publishing. If you know of a player we missed, please inform us via telephone (1-800-261-7147), email (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org), or mail (Uniontown Herald-Standard, attn: Sports Dept., 8-18 E. Church Street, Uniontown, Pa., 15401).
Belle Vernon’s Kirk Popelas (6-1, 260, DL) returns to the Zips roster as a redshirt freshman.
Laurel Highlands graduate Jake Dukman (6-3, 205), a tight end, did play in the 2020 season. He caught one pass for five yards and made nine tackles (4 solo, 2 assists) in nine games in 2019 as a freshman.
Mapletown graduate Blake Holbert, part of the freshmen class, is a defensive lineman.
The Vulcans did not play last fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Laurel Highlands’ Ian Edenfield (6-6, 240) was a member of the Cal U AD Honor Roll (Fall 2020, Spring 2021) last year. Edenfield played in nine games in 2019 as a reserve tight end, finishing with three catches for 16 yards. He was also on the Cal U AD Honor Roll in Spring 2020.
Belle Vernon’s Gage Rogge (5-11, 225) had his freshman season cancelled because of the pandemic.
Charleroi’s Dakota Romantino (5-10, 165) returns after his freshman season was lost to COVID-19.
Frazier graduate Chad Salisbury enters his fourth season as the offensive coordinator after he was the quarterbacks coach for eight seasons. Fellow Frazier grad Larry Wilson returns to the Vulcans as the longest tenured coach, entering his 16th season as the wide receivers coach/special teams coordinator.
Case Western Reserve
Case Western Reserve did not play in 2020-21 because of the pandemic.
California graduate Austin Grillo (5-9, 170) enters his junior season at defensive back. Grillo played in four games as a reserve in 2019 as a freshman. He was named to the PAC Academic Honor Roll and received UAA Fall All-Academic honors as a sophomore in 2020, and was named to the PAC Fall Academic Honor Roll as a freshman.
Charleroi graduate Legend Davis (6-0, 195, DB), Yough’s Austin Caudill (6-4, 265, OL), and Ringgold alum Clayton Rosensteel (5-11, 200, P/K) are members of the freshman recruiting class for the Golden Eagles.
Belle Vernon’s Larry Callaway III (5-10, 180, RB) is part of the Flyers’ freshmen recruiting class.
Elizabeth Forward grad A.J. Ackerman (5-11, 170) appeared in all five games for the Dukes as a freshman in 2020-21. Ackerman played the first three games on the offensive line before moving to the defensive line for the last two games, finishing with nine tackles, 2½ tackles for a loss, a half sack and one quarterback hurry. He totaled all but four tackles (3 solo, 1 assist) in the NEC Championship against Sacred Heart.
Belle Vernon graduate Hunter Ruokonen (5-11, 170, WR) did not see action last year, but finished on the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll (3.75 cumulative GPA or higher).
Ben LaCarte (6-1, 190, DB), a Greensburg C.C. grad from Belle Vernon, also did not play last year and was honored on the 2020-21 NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and NEC Academic Honor Roll.
Elizabeth Forward graduate Anthony Brinson (6-2, 340) enters his junior season after playing in nine games in 2019 with three tackles (1 solo, 2 assists) as a noseguard.
Fellow Elizabeth Forward grad Nico Mrvos (5-11, 190, WR) and Yough’s CJ Waldier (6-0, 185, WR) join the Fighting Scots as members of the freshman class.
Fairmont State (W.Va.)
Beth-Center alum Kamden Studnicki (6-4, 220, LB), Connellsville’s Cole Stash (6-1, 285, DT), and Belle Vernon graduate Anthony Evans (OL) are part of the freshman class for the Falcons.
Connellsville’s Jared Ozias (6-1, 215) played all five games at wide receiver during the 2020-21 season as he enters his junior season. California’s Jaeden Zuzak (5-10, 215, RB) looks for playing time in his freshman season with the Golden Tornadoes.
The Red Hawks did not play last fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Albert Gallatin graduate Devin Carney (6-0, 187) is a redshirt junior at wide receiver/defensive back after previously playing at Thaddeus Stevens.
Belle Vernon’s Nolan Labuda (5-8, 160) enters IUP as a redshirt freshman wide receiver after transferring from Akron.
Belle Vernon grad Max Bryer (6-0, 210) enters his sophomore season as he looks to find a position on the Lords’ defense at linebacker.
Belle Vernon graduate Ian Maloney (6-2, 205, LB) is part of the Cardinals’ freshman class.
California graduate Sam Thomas (6-1, 245) enters his sophomore season as an offensive lineman.
Yough grad Dustin Shoaf (6-0, 205) appeared in all 11 games for the Lakers as a freshman in 2019. The fullback caught 23 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown on a 29-yard reception against Shepherd (W.Va.), and ran five times for 33 yards.
Fellow Yough graduate Russell Pytlak (6-3, 235) enters his freshman season as a tight end.
Notre Dame College
Connellsville graduate Ky’ron Craggette (5-10, 210, RB) is part of the Falcons’ freshman recruiting class.
Belle Vernon graduate Blake Zubovic (6-4, 325) enters his redshirt junior season on the Panthers’ offensive line. Zubovic played in seven games in 2020, making two starts at right guard. He started in consecutive games against Virginia Tech and Clemson. Zubovic did not play in any games in the 2019 season.
Fellow Belle Vernon graduate Cam Guess (5-11, 200) was a walk-on after he graduated high school early and enrolled in January 2020. He did not play in any games last season.
Belle Vernon’s Hayden Baron (6-3, 270) looks to position himself on the Colonials’ offensive line as he enters his sophomore season.
Charleroi grad Geno Pellegrini (6-0, 165) played one game in 2019 and enters his junior season seeking to secure time as a quarterback. Fellow Cougar Dyelan Brown (6-3, 250, OL) enters his freshman season for RMU.
St. Francis (Pa.)
Elizabeth Forward alum Zachary Benedek (6-1, 185, QB) played in two games in 2019 on special teams.
Mount Pleasant’s Keith Kalp (6-0, 175) enters his senior season for the Bearcats after playing four games in the abbreviated 2020-21 season. The wide receiver caught 23 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. He caught eight passes against Grove City and Bethany (W.Va.), and four receptions for 103 yards against Waynesburg. Kalp was a starter at wide receiver in 2018 with 30 receptions for 321 yards and four touchdowns. He totaled 102 yards and a touchdown on five receptions against Carnegie Mellon, and finished with five receptions against Case Western Reserve.
Yough graduate Mason Brunson (5-11, 165) played four games in his sophomore season at cornerback, finishing with 21 tackles (12 solo, 9 assists). He had six tackles in the Grove City and Washington & Jefferson games.
Waynesburg Central grad Caleb Shriver (5-9, 170) played in four games at safety as a freshman in the 2020-21 season with two solo tackles.
Elizabeth Forward’s Nathan Sullivan (5-10, 190) played in one game at linebacker in his freshman season in 2020-21 against Waynesburg with five tackles and an interception.
Southmoreland’s George Hillen (5-11, 320) played in three games in 2020-21 with 10 tackles (5 solo, 5 assists). His top effort was four tackles (3 solo, 1 assist) against Bethany.
Connellsville’s Teddy Long (5-11, 175, WR) and Zach Kuvinka (5-9, 185, LB), a Greensburg C.C. grad from Monessen, both look to crack the Bearcats lineup this fall.
Mount Pleasant’s Luke Hauger (5-11, 170, K) is part of the Griffins’ freshman recruiting class.
The 2020 season was cancelled because of the pandemic.
Ringgold’s Max Maciejewski (6-4, 235) played in four games at tight end as a sophomore in 2019. He returned from an injury to catch two passes for 38 yards, with his top reception 30 yards in the PSAC Championship against Kutztown.
Belle Vernon graduate Eric Oblak (6-3, 235) had success in the classroom, being two-time PSAC Scholar Athlete, but the redshirt freshman is still looking for playing time on the defensive line.
Fellow Leopard Anthony Rebar (6-3, 270, OL) has had a similar career with scholastic honors in 2020 and 2019, but no playing experience.
Four local players are in their first season on the Tomcats roster.
Connellsville’s Bodee Stonebraker, Ringgold’s Jacob Walsh (5-10, 150, CB) and Jason Walsh (5-10, 165, QB), and Uniontown’s Josh Curry (5-9, 173, CB) are on the 2021 roster.
Belle Vernon graduate Derek Thomas (6-3, 255) enters his redshirt sophomore season after playing in all five games of the abbreviated 2020 season. The tight end caught three passes for 29 yards. Thomas played two games in 2019.
Washington & Jefferson
Monessen’s Brandon Brown (5-11, 195), a Greensburg C.C. graduate, played in three games as a freshman in the abbreviated 2020 season with one tackle and one pass defensed.
Scottdale’s Max Pisula (6-2, 215), also a Greensburg C.C. grad, looks for playing time at defensive end in his junior season after moving to the position as a sophomore. Pisula played quarterback as a freshman.
Charleroi graduate Michael Polinski (5-10, 205) seeks playing time at linebacker as he enters his junior year.
Southmoreland’s Zach Cernuto (5-11, 215, TE), Frazier’s Matt Kordich (6-2, 260, OL/DE), Ringgold’s Wyatt Nicklow (5-10, 185, WR), Bentworth’s Owen Petrisek (5-8, 185, RB), and Connellsville’s Sam Shaffer (6-2, 285, OL) are all part of the Presidents’ freshmen recruiting class.
Former California head coach Darrin Dillow is on the football coaching staff as an assistant since the 2019 season.
Colton Kisner (5-11, 318, OL), a junior from Charleroi, and Jacob Fazekas (6-0, 205, LB), a sophomore from Mount Pleasant, both look for playing time for the Titans this fall.
Elizabeth Forward graduate Jaquan Davidson (6-3, 215) enters is senior season after a strong performance in 2019 when he was second on the team with 51 receptions for 652 yards in 11 games, and a team-leading six receiving touchdowns and 12.8 yards per catch average. Davidson had top performances of seven receptions for 77 yards and touchdown against West Liberty, seven catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns against Urbana, and seven receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns against Charleston. He also completed one pass for an 11-yard touchdown. Davidson previously played at Pittsburgh (2016) and Duquesne (2017).
California graduate Jelani Stafford (6-1, 310) played in six games in the 2021 spring schedule on the defensive line with one solo tackle against South Dakota State. He returns on the Penguins roster as a redshirt freshman.