By Matt Popchock
Those around the country not as acutely aware of the exceptional high school football talent in western Pennsylvania as its natives will catch a glimpse of it Tue., Jan. 3.
Fox Chapel senior Adam Bisnowaty, a 6’6″, 280-pound offensive lineman, and Hopewell senior tailback Rushel Shell, the most heavily recruited offensive player in Pennsylvania, have been selected to play in the inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
The game, scheduled for a 6:00 P.M. kickoff, will be televised on the CBS Sports Network (formerly known as the CBS College Sports Network). It will pit 100 of the top high school players from all over the country, as selected by a committee of experts and scouts chaired by CBS Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, against each other on teams of “East” and “West.”
Bisnowaty was honored by game representatives in a ceremony at Fox Chapel Senior High School Wednesday afternoon. A similar ceremony for Shell will be held shortly before kickoff at Tony Dorsett Stadium Friday evening as Hopewell gets set to host Mount Lebanon.
Despite starting for a Fox Chapel squad that has had trouble finding its way in the Class AAAA Big East Conference, Bisnowaty is one of the most highly-touted linemen in the state; Lemming ranks him as the No. 24 offensive tackle in America. He has helped the Foxes average over 150 rushing yards through three games in 2011.
Bisnowaty has visited Florida and will visit Pitt this weekend, having been offered by both, and he has also received offers from Connecticut, Michigan State, Penn State, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Meanwhile, Shell’s short list reportedly includes Pitt, Alabama, Florida, and Virginia Tech. No timetable has been given for his decision, though the bowl committee appears to be on time to witness history. Shell, the No. 11 overall player in America according to Lemming, needs just 135 yards this Friday to become the WPIAL’s all-time leading rusher.
Among the other WPIAL talent invited to appear in the first Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl are South Allegheny tight end Jesse James, a Penn State recruit; Erie McDowell tailback Greg Garmon; University Prep linebacker Jaylen Coleman; Sto-Rox linebacker Deaysean Rippy; and Jeannette quarterback/safety Demetrius Cox.
Check out CBSSportsNetwork.com for information on where to find the station through your local cable provider.
(Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mpopchock)