Several players have already been offered Division I scholarships.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
Once again the Mahoning Valley is blessed with a handful of premier high school senior football players.
At least 10 area seniors should receive scholarships from major college teams and a bunch more will be playing somewhere next fall.
The Top Ten in the area include Prescott Burgess and Mike Phillips of Warren Harding; Louis Irizarry, Terrence Graves and Matt Maizel of Ursuline; Mike McGlynn and Davanzo Tate of Fitch; Mike Villagrana of Boardman; Sean Clayton of Poland; and Chaney's Keilen Dykes.
Burgess, a 6-foot-3, 226-pound safety, just might be the top prep prospect in Ohio. He's already been offered a scholarship by Ohio State, among others. He's a basketball standout as well and was a first-team all-state football pick last year.
Irizarry (6-5, 235) is one of the best tight ends in the Midwest. He caught 25 balls in 10 games last year for the Irish, covering 339 yards. He also punted for a 40.6-yard average (18 kicks, 731 yards). He's got a 3.9 GPA and already committed to Ohio State.
Graves (6-2, 200) ran for 1,900 yards as a sophomore tailback when Ursuline won a state title. As a junior he accumulated 1,187 yards on 120 runs (9.9 average) and scored 18 times in nine games. He is already the leading career rusher at Ursuline.
Quarterback Clayton, with a Bernie Kosar-type build (6-5, 225), completed 67 percent of his passes (111-for-167) as he took the Bulldogs to the playoffs last year. He gained 1,926 yards through the air and threw nine touchdown passes.
Dykes (6-4, 260) was picked the top defender in the City Series as a junior defensive end. He had 38 solo tackles and 18 sacks for the Cowboys.
McGlynn (6-6, 310), an offensive lineman, already committed to Pitt although he didn't play high school ball as a junior.
Phillips (5-11, 180) is a cornerback who is also an honor student at Harding. He was first-team all-Northeast Ohio last year.
Maizel (6-3, 300) will be busy making holes for the two fine Ursuline running backs.
Boardman tight end Villagrana (6-4, 230) caught 28 passes for 299 yards and five touchdowns while making first-team all-Steel Valley Conference as a junior. He will attend West Virginia on a scholarship.
Tate (5-10, 175) is a cornerback at Fitch with reported 4.3 speed in the 40. Yes, he runs track and also runs the football for the Falcons (92 carries for 348 yards and 13 catches for 125 yards).
He, too, will attend West Virginia on a scholarship
Just so you don't think the junior class has no talent, there's some very fine football players in 11th grade this year. Some of the best:
UUrsuline runner Delbert Ferguson (6-1, 204) will give the Irish the top 1-2 punch in Ohio.
UUrsuline quarterback Darryl Clark (6-3, 183) might be the top QB in his class in the state.
UFitch receiver Miles Williams (6-3, 181) caught 31 passes for 536 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore.
UUrsuline DT Juan Vega (6-1, 277) will be part of a fine Irish defense.