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McKeesport's Simmons to UNC; Jackson and Clairton's Green to Texas Tech

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The McKeesport duo of Delvon Simmons and Branden Jackson have made their decisions on National Signing Day: Simmons surprised most with his decision to play for North Carolina, while Jackson will join Clairton's Desimon Green at Texas Tech.

Nineteen WPIAL players have or will make binding commitments to play Division 1 football next season. For the first time in at least 15 years, no WPIAL player will be headed to State College to play for the Nittany Lions. Only three have committed to play at Pitt, just one will head to West Virginia, but two WPIAL stars have committed to Purdue and another two will head to the lone star state to play for the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. High school seniors can sign binding letters of intent beginning Wednesday, Feb. 2.

WPIAL Division 1 Commitments
Mike Caputo, DB (6-1, 195) West Allegheny -- WISCONSIN
Caputo missed almost his entire senior season after tearing his ACL in the opener. One of the most productive running backs in WPIAL history as a junior, Caputo will start out as a d-back with the Badgers.

Devin Cook, TE/DE (6-4, 225) Beaver Falls -- PITT
Cook, who could end up a tight end, linebacker or defensive end at the next level, had offers from Bowling Green and Miami-OH until Cincinnati and Pitt became involved recently.

Tim Cwalina, OL (6-7, 290) Mt. Lebanon -- VIRGINIA
A towering presence at 6-7, Cwaline added 25 pounds of muscle between his junior and senior seasons. He committed to the Cavaleirs in July.

Bre Ford, RB/DB (5-10, 205) Bethel Park -- AKRON
Ford had over 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns this season for Bethel Park. He likely will play safety for Akron.

Desimon Green, DE (6-5, 220) Clairton -- TEXAS TECH
Green passed for more than 1,800 yards, rushed for over 700 more scored 43 touchdowns either passing or rushing. But he'll play d-end for the Red Raiders.

Justin Haser, DE (6-4, 230) North Allegheny - OHIO
Haser teamed with Rob Kugler to form one of the best defensive fronts in quad-A this season, earning him a co-Player of the Year nod from the the Pennsylvania Sports Writers’ Class AAAA all-state football selection committee.  

Branden Jackson, LB (6-2, 220) McKeesport -- TEXAS TECH
Jackson had Texas Tech and Oregon at the top of his list most of this month, but new Pitt coach Todd Graham has the Panthers in the mix. The McKeesport linebacker has great speed and could even become a speed-rusher off the edge.

Quinton Jefferson, DE (6-4, 225) Woodland Hills -- MARYLAND
Jefferson was new Terps coach Randy Edsall's first committment, choosing Maryland over Cincinnati and Iowa.

Dondi Kirby, DB (6-3, 185) Gateway -- ILLINOIS
The standout defensive back missed the 2010 season after injuring his knee over the summer. Kirby's final five came down to Iowa, Illinois, Southern Cal, Maryland and Florida.

Rob Kugler, TE (6-3, 240) North Allegheny -- PURDUE
Kugler, whose father Sean is the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, earned the Pennsylvania Sports Writers’ Class AAAA co-player of the year award along with teammate Justin Haser.

Nick Kwiatkoski, DB (6-2, 205) Bethel Park -- WEST VIRGINIA
Great size a speed and a perfect fit for West Virginia's 3-3-5 defense, Kwiatkoski was also an excellent long-jumper in high school.

Paul Lang, TE (6-5, 235) Mt. Lebanon -- MICHIGAN STATE
Lang caught 25 passes for 350 yards as a TE this season, as well as making 51 tackles and four sacks as a defensive end.

Jevonte Pitts, DB (5-11, 180) Woodland Hills -- PITT
Former high school quarterback who concentrated on safety as a senior. His cousin is Woody High standout Lafayette Pitts.

Lafayette Pitts, RB/DB (6-1, 185) Woodland Hills -- PITT
Pitts, who carried his team to the WPIAL championship game, committed to Pitt early in the process, but changed his pledge to Rutgers when former Pitt assistant coaches Frank Cignetti and Jeff Halfley joined the RU staff. Pitt won him back with a late push.

Ejuan Price, LB (6-0, 235) Woodland Hills -- OHIO STATE
Price played outside linebacker as a junior, making 107 tackles, 11 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. He played inside as a senior and made over 100 tackles with 12 sacks and an interception.

Dustin Pringle, OL (6-5, 260) Blackhawk -- WESTERN MICHIGAN
A standout on both sides of the line for Blackhawk, Pringle, who committed in August, will likely play offensive tackle in the MAC.

Bernie Sarra, DT (6-1, 325) Greensburg Central Catholic -- NAVY
ESPN.com just updated their recruiting rankings and have Sarra as the top-ranked recruit of the 20+ that will sign with Navy.  Was the #1 OL recruit for the Middies.

Delvon Simmons, DT (6-5, 265) McKeesport -- NORTH CAROLINA
Simmons was always a top-notch recruit, but his performance in the U.S. Army All-Star Game in San Antonio, where he had two sacks, vaulted him among the elite.

Armstead Williams, LB (6-3, 210) Gateway -- PURDUE
Williams caught 29 passes for 357 yards and five touchdowns as a tight end, but he will be a linebacker in college and could eventually move to defensive end.

All photos by William McBride

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