Three regional QBs to compete in Elite 11 finals

Three highly touted quarterbacks from the East will compete in the finals of the Elite 11 competition July18-22 in Redondo Beach, Calif.

Christian Hackenberg, the No. 1 quarterback in the ESPN 150, earned an invite with his strong showing in the Las Vegas regional. Although he didn’t win MVP, he won high praise and is expected to be one of the top performers in the finals as well.

Hackenberg, a Penn State recruit, is from Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia and is ranked as a four-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. He is ranked as the seventh overall QB by Rivals and the 11th overall by Scout.

Joining Hackenberg will be Maryland recruit Shane Cockerille from the Gilman School in Baltimore. Cockerille is a 6-2, 207 pounder that apparently impressed Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer enough to earn a surprise pick.

The Maryland commit is ranked as a three-star dual threat quarterback by both Rivals and Scout. He is ranked as the No. 44 overall QB by Scout and the No. 15 dual threat quarterback by Rivals and the No. 22 dual threat QB by ESPN.

Miami recruit Kevin Olsen, who is from Wayne, N.J., won the New York regional and will join the Hackenberg and Cockerille in the finals.

Olsen, 6-2, 195 pounds, is the eighth overall ranked quarterback by Rivals and the No. 5 ranked signal caller by Scout. He is also ranked as the No. 7 pocket passer by ESPN.

To stay abreast of Eastern recruiting follow on Twitter @EastRecruiting.

Recruiting notes from big June weekend

Northeast wins Rivals 7-on-7

The Northeast distinguished itself in the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta by winning the 7-on-7 competition with a 32-25 victory over Southeast in Sunday’s championship game.

Led by Penn State bound quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union Va. Military Academy) the Northeast squad rebounded from a defeat in round robin play to win the title. Hackenberg threw three touchdown passes to Taquan Mizzell (Bayside, Virginia Beach) in the final game.

The Northeast team won three of four games in Sunday’s competition, also beating the West and Southwest.

Northeast places eight on All-Challenge Team

Not only did the Northeast team win the challenge, it also saw eight of its members placed on the prestigious All-Challenge Team.

Hackenberg and Mizzell, buoyed by their performance in the championship game, led the way. Joining them were Eastern Christian Academy (Elkton, Md.) teammates Kenny Bigelow (defensive end) and Khaliel Rodgers (offensive line), Kendall Fuller (cornerback, Good Counsel, Olney, Md.), safety Quin Blanding (Bayside, Virginia Beach), Da’Shawn Hand (defensive end, Woodbridge, Va.) and defensive tackle Andrew Brown (Oscar Smith, Chesapeake, Va.).

Of that group only Hackenberg (Penn State) and Bigelow (USC) have committed.

Highly ranked offensive tackle picks PSU

Dorian Johnson, a highly recruited offensive tackle from Belle Vernon High in western Pennsylvania, verbally committed to Penn State over Pitt, West Virginia and Ohio State on Sunday.

Johnson is the first WPIAL recruit that new coach Bill O’Brien has gotten – and it was a bit of an upset according to many recruiting gurus, who thought Pitt was the leader.

Johnson visited Penn State’s campus on Saturday and made his decision Sunday.

The 6-8, 285 pound lineman is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals and Scout. Clearly, he is a big get for the Nittany Lions. He is the sixth member of the Nittany Lions class to be ranked that high.

JMU bound Reynolds leads team in Delaware all-star game

Newark High quarterback Taylor Reynolds closed out his high school career in style leading his Gold team to a 37-14 win over the Blue Squad in Saturday night’s annual Blue-Gold All-Star game at Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del.

Reynolds, who is headed to James Madison this fall, ran for 93 yards and scored twice and was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.

Leading rusher headed to JUCO

All-time Delaware high school rushing leader Chris Jones will head to Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Community College in the fall with hopes of eventually landing on a Division I roster.

Jones rushed for 6,201 yards on 922 carries during his high school career at Laurel. He had interest from several schools including Rutgers and Delaware but his headed to Hudson Valley with hopes of working on his academics and becoming more attractive to Division I schools.

For more recruiting information, follow Marty Valania @EastRecruiting on Twitter.

Region’s best at Rivals 5-star challenge


The best of the best will be in Atlanta this weekend for the Rivals 100 5-Star Challenge.

The hundred top recruits in the country, according to Rivals.com, will be showing off their skills Saturday and Sunday in Atlanta and the Mid-Atlantic area is well represented.

Kenny Bigelow and Khaliel Rodgers, both of newly created Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Md., lead the way. Both played at Red Lion Christian in Bear, Del. last year before a controversy with the school’s new owners and administration, forced a move to the new school. Bigelow, a defensive end, has already committed to USC while Rodgers, an offensive lineman, is still uncommitted.

Other players from Maryland include highly touted Good Counsel duo Kendall Fuller and Dorian O’Daniel. O’Daniel is a linebacker that is headed to Clemson while Fuller is a cornerback that is considered one of the top recruits in the country.

New Jersey is well represented with cornerback Eli Woodard (uncommitted) from Eastern in Vorhees and offensive tackle Brendan Mahon from Randolph (committed to Penn State).

Pennsylvania’s entry is wide receiver Tyler Boyd from Clairton, Pa., which is just outside Pittsburgh. Boyd has offers from 10 schools including in-state rivals Pitt and Penn State.

Virginia has a host of players including 2014 prospect safety Quin Blanding from Bayside High in Virginia Beach. Others include defensive tackle Andrew Brown from Indian River High in Chesapeake, wide receiver Holland Fisher from Manchester in Midlothian, who verballed to Virginia Tech, running back Derrick Green from Hermitage in Richmond (uncommitted), Penn State quarterback recruit Christian Hackenberg from Fork Union, defensive end Da’Shawn Hand from Woodbridge and running back Taquan Mizzell, also from Bayside High.

D.C. also has two players attending. They are safety Jalen Tabor and offensive tackle Derwin Gray (verballed to Maryland) from Friendship Collegiate.

The camp runs through Sunday, June 25 at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta.

For more recruiting news, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter.

Top talent at PSU skills camp

Gateway football coach Terry Smith brought some of his players to the Penn State skills camp.

A host of highly recruited prospects made their way to State College to show off their skills in front of the Penn State coaching staff Saturday.

Penn State held an Advanced Skills Camp, which saw over 250 campers show up. However, it was a select group of 30 that got a lot of attention.

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