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Wednesday February 8 2023
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WPIAL in the NFL

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A pair of former WPIAL stars will take the field in this Sunday's conference championship games, and more than two dozen more joined them this season throughout the NFL.

Aaron Donald, DT, Rams - Penn Hills
The second-year Pitt graduate has 69 tackles and 11 sacks from his position on the interior of the defensive line this season. Donald ended the 2015 season with a perfect 99.9 rating, according to Pro Football Focus, the highest grade the website has ever given over a single season, breaking the previous mark held by J.J. Watt. "He's on the same level as Watt," said Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. "This guy is having a fantastic year. Definitely a game-wrecker."

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots - Woodland Hills
Gronk is one of the NFL's biggest difference makers. “He’s a matchup nightmare,” says Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. “He’s a freak... I can’t say enough good things about Gronk because what he brings to our offense is just — no one in the league has someone that is just as tough a mismatch as Gronk is. He’s big, fast, tough, dependable, consistent." Gronkowski finished his sixth season with 72 receptions for 1,176 yards, the highest per catch average of his career at 16.3.

Darrelle Revis, CB, Jets – Alquippa
The Pitt product is considered by many to be the NFL's best cover-corner since Deion Sanders. Playing for the Jets, Buccaneers and Patriots, Revis has been named to six Pro Bowls and is a four-time first-team All-Pro. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year 2009, Revis was the key to the Patriots defense in 2014 and helped New England win its first Super Bowl in 10 years. His ability to take the best receivers out of the game by himself completely changed the way the Patriots blitzed.

Barry Church, DB, Cowboys - Penn Hills
Undrafted out of Toledo in 2010, Church is in his sixth season with Dallas. He has played in 78 games, starting 51.

Brandon Fusco, OG, Vikings - Seneca Valley
Drafted by Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round in 2011 out of Slippery Rock, Fusco became a starter in just his second season.

Sean Lee, LB, Cowboys - Upper St. Clair
Injuries prevented the Penn State grad from being a star, but the former second round pick has 60 NFL games and 46 starts over his career.

Pat McAfee, P, Colts - Plum
A seventh-round pick out of West Virginia in 2009, McAfee has developed into one of the league's most consistent punters.

Paul Posluszny, LB, Jaguars – Hopewell
A former second round pick of the Bills out of Penn State, "Poz" has spent the past five seasons in Jacksonville. He has started each of his 113 NFL games.

Stefen Wisniewski, C, Jaguars - Pittsburgh Central Catholic
A second-round pick of the Raiders out of Penn State, Wisniewski started all four years in Oakland before joining Jacksonville this past season.

Don Barclay, OL, Packers - Seneca Valley
Will Clarke, DL, Bengals – Allderdice
Gino Gradkowski, C, Falcons - Seton-LaSalleSteelers Jesse James
Jesse James, TE, Steelers - South Allegheny
Eric Kush, C, Rams - Chartiers Valley
Rontez Miles, DB, Jets - Woodland Hills
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland – Jeannette
AQ Shipley, OL, Cardinals – Moon
Ross Ventrone, DB, Steelers - Chartiers-Houston
Darrin Walls, DB, Jets - Woodland Hills

Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Steelers - Seton-LaSalle
Ryan Mundy, DB, Bears - Woodland Hills
Dorin Dickerson, TE, Titans - West Allegheny
Kaleb Ramsey, DL, 49ers - Laurel Highlands
Todd Thomas, LB, Jaguars - Beaver Falls

Julian Howsare, FB/LB, Jets – Altoona
Mike Hull, LB, Dolphins - Canon McMillan

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