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The state of Pennsylvania is loaded with talent for 2008, led by one of the best group of players in the Pittsburgh area in history. The 2008 Rivals.com Pennsylvania Top 40 boasts four of the top 28 players in the nation led by Jeannette, Pa. quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the nation's No. 1 prospect.
Pryor, a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder, has been compared to former Texas great Vince Young for his ability to run and pass. Pryor is also a standout basketball prospect. The nation's top player lists Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia as his top 11.
Linebackers are at a premium in the state rankings with four of the top 11 players in state calling that position home. Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway linebacker Shayne Hale, who also has a lengthy list, checks in at No. 2 in state and No. 12 in the country. Hale, a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, lists Alabama, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Pitt, Rutgers, Virginia and West Virginia on his list.
Hale is joined by Washington (Pa.) Trinity teammates Mike Yancich and Andrew Sweat in the top 10. Yancich, considered a heavy Penn State lean, had 115 tackles and six sacks as a junior while Sweat, an Ohio State commitment, had 165 tackles. McKees Rocks (Pa.) Montour inside linebacker Christian Wilson checks in at No. 11. Wilson lists Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Ohio State.
Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson offensive lineman Lucas Nix is ranked as the No. 3 player in state and is ranked as the No. 26 player in the country. He is expected to commit to Pitt this month. Aliquippa, Pa. tight end Jonathan Baldwin and Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic safety Nick Moody are ranked No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. Baldwin is also a standout basketball player and lists Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pitt and Southern Cal as his leaders. Moody committed to Florida State early in the process.
The Seminoles also have a commitment from Altoona, Pa. athlete A.J. Alexander who is one of the fastest players in state. The Pitt Panthers have three current commitments from top 40 players, running back Chris Burns and defensive backs Chris Hayden-Martin and Antwuan Reed while West Virginia boasts commitments from defensive backs Jermaine Robinson and Chris Smith.