Sports Recruiters presents a list of the top underclassmen in Central Pennsylvania. These players are considered the top players in Central PA according to Sports Recruiters and college coaches across the country. I have seen most of these prospects play in-person.
This eight-part series will take a look at the area’s top quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers/tight ends, linemen, linebackers, defensive backs, underclassmen, top newcomers, as well as a list of honorable mention student-athletes.
Micah Parsons- Defensive End/Linebacker – 6’3”, 235 – Central Dauphin H.S.
Micah burst on the scene two years in a big-time way and made an early verbal declaration to Penn State in February. Parsons, a junior, is one of the best prospects in the state regardless of class. He collected 69 tackles, including 20 tackles-for-loss, and 13.5 sacks to his credit in 2015. Micah has close to a dozen offers at this point, and he selected Penn State over a large number of elite FBS programs including Florida State, Alabama, Michigan, and USC. Parsons, a 2015 Mr. PA Football nominee, is currently rated a five-star prospect by Scout.com and ranked as the number five player in the 2018 recruiting class according to 247 Sports.com. Micah displays marvelous pass rush ability with explosive speed off the edge and wreaks havoc from his defensive end position. Parsons has an extremely quick first step and is aggressive with a non-stop motor. He shows excellent backside pursuit, terrific change of direction, and fine body control. Micah utilizes his fabulous agility and length to make stops on ball carriers. Parsons was a 2015 First-Team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division all-star selection at defensive end and was a First-Team Class AAAA All-State selection as a defensive lineman.
Zach Kuntz – Tight End/Defensive End – 6’7”, 215 – Camp Hill H.S.
Zach has the type of size, athleticism, and versatility that you just can’t teach. Kuntz, a junior, is blessed with great hands, excellent body control, and fine speed. He caught 49 passes for 793 yards while scoring 11 touchdowns last season. Zach is a true blue-chip athlete who has seen his stock skyrocket over the last year. Kuntz was a 2015 First-Team Mid-Penn Capital Division all-star selection at wide receiver and as a defensive lineman. He was also selected as a First-Team Class A All-State all-star at tight end and was nominated for the Mr. PA Football Class A/AA award in 2015. Zach was ranked at No. 16 overall and was listed as the No. 1 tight end in the nation in the latest 2018 class rankings released by 247 Sports over the summer. Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Notre Dame are among the 13 elite FBS programs to offer Kuntz thus far.
Onasis Neely – Running Back – 5’11”, 190 – East Pennsboro H.S.
Onasis is an explosive slashing runner who combines having good size with terrific balance, power, and vision. The fleet-footed Neely has the size of a power back but the evasiveness of a speed back. He is currently receiving a lot of attention from FBS and FCS programs across the region. Onasis scooted for 1,388 yards and had 14 touchdowns in 2015 and has set sights on having an even bigger season in 2016. He is slippery in the open field and demonstrates fine acceleration and burst in getting the second level. Onasis was a 2015 First-Team Mid-Penn Colonial Division all-star selection at running back and was one of the top underclassmen at Sports Recruiters Combine Showcase this past spring. Neely is definitely one to watch this fall.
Michael Jones – Running Back – 6’1”, 215 – Bishop McDevitt H.S.
Michael is arguably one of the most talented running back prospects in the area regardless of class. Jones is a punishing runner who combines having great size with good speed, excellent balance, fine vision, and superb change of direction. He rambled for 1,501 yards and found the endzone an impressive 19 times. Michael should enjoy another terrific season and is currently receiving heavy interest from FBS and FCS programs across the region. Jones is definitely on the radar after recording phenomenal numbers last fall and was a 2015 Second-Team Mid-Penn Keystone Division all-star selection at running back. He is continuing the Crusaders tradition of producing big-time running backs who play at the next level.
Shaquon Anderson-Butts – Wide Receiver – 6’2”, 170 – Harrisburg H.S.
Shaquon is currently rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com and ranked as the number one wide receiver in Pennsylvania according to 247 Sports.com in the latest 2018 class rankings. Anderson-Butts, a junior, is a smooth athlete and has outstanding hands. He is lightning fast, accelerates well, and runs crisp routes at this stage. Shaquon possesses the good size and magnificent athletic ability that garners the attention of colleges. Anderson-Butts is a definite blue-chip wide receiver prospect and displays exceptional ball skills. He was selected as Sports Recruiters Combine Showcase’s underclassmen overall co-MVP’s and exhibited fantastic speed by clocking a 4.46 forty-yard dash. Shaquon has received six scholarship offers at this point including Penn State and Pitt and that number is most likely to increase significantly in the next two years. Anderson-Butts was a 2015 First-Team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division all-star selection at wide receiver and was nominated for the Mr. PA Football Class AAA/AAAA award in 2015.
Gavyn Barnes– Wide Receiver/Cornerback – 5’9”, 175 – Carlisle H.S.
Gavyn, a junior, is an electrifying two-way standout at wide receiver and cornerback. Barnes dominated the competition in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division last season with 77 receptions for 944 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He is a sensational wide receiver who shows the ability to take over games. Gavyn is an instinctive athlete who can high point the football with ease while making the crucial catch or interception. Barnes has excellent speed, terrific hands, and great acceleration. He was a 2015 Second-Team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division all-star selection at wide receiver and was nominated for the Mr. PA Football Class AAA/AAAA award in 2015. Barnes has the type of athletic ability that should catch the attention of many college programs this season.
Charlie Katshir – Safety/Wide Receiver – 6’3”, 195– Cumberland Valley H.S.
Charlie has big-play ability and is a game changer on offense and defense for the Eagles. Katshir, a junior, is one of the top athletes in Central PA and is a versatile player who plays both safety and wide receiver. He has great ball recognition skills, fine body control, and excellent change of direction. Also Charlie, displays good closing speed and has the range to cover sideline to sideline. Katshir has the size and length that garners the attention of colleges. He is an instinctive player who really shines on defense where he collected 10 interceptions last season. Charlie does a fabulous job of reading and diagnosing plays and is a sure tackler in the secondary. He tracks and pursues ball carriers very well in run support. Katshir’s immense athleticism is definitely being noticed as he recently picked up offers from Virginia and Penn State. Charlie was a 2015 Second-Team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division all-star selection at defensive back and was nominated for the Mr. PA Football Class AAA/AAAA award in 2015.
Tim Kater – Defensive Lineman/Tight End – 6’3”, 275 – Bishop McDevitt H.S.
Kater, a junior, is very aggressive and has a quick first step with a non-stop motor. Tim is a fine athlete who has the size and instincts that colleges crave. He utilizes his superior athleticism and strength in the interior to make a huge impact in games. Kater pursues plays from the back side, makes tackles and has a nice closing burst to the quarterback. On offense, Tim provides a big target over the middle for his quarterback and displays soft hands while catching passes as a tight end. Colleges are definitely noticing his talent and skill set as a result he is receiving plenty of interest from FBS schools in the region. Kater was a 2015 Second-Team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division all-star selection as a defensive lineman and has continued to work hard in the off-season at perfecting his technique and conditioning.
Yahmir Wilkerson –Quarterback – 6’1”, 190 – Harrisburg H.S
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback passed for 1,640 yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore last season. Wilkerson, a junior quarterback, has good mechanics, fine footwork, and his biggest attribute is his terrific arm strength. He demonstrated impressive accuracy and will be a household name by the end of the season. Yahmir has a solid release point on his throws, and his follow through is excellent. Wilkerson stands tall in the pocket and he possesses the arm strength that the Division 1 colleges look for in a quarterback. His pocket awareness is good, and he is improving upon his ability to read and understand defenses. Colleges have already taken notice of Yahmir and he has the potential to be a possible blue-chip quarterback in the future.
Luke Emge –Quarterback/Defensive Back – 6’1”, 188 – Manheim Township H.S
Luke, a junior, is a standout quarterback who transferred to Manheim Township from Fleetwood over the summer and transition has been a smooth one thus far. Emge is a dynamic, dual-threat quarterback who passed for 2,032 yards and 23 touchdowns and ran for 802 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He is very dangerous as a runner or as a scrambler when the pocket collapses and shows the ability to extend plays or the elusiveness in the open field to hit the home run on any given play. Luke has fine speed, good mechanics, solid footwork, and a live arm. The athletically gifted Emge has the innate ability to read defenses and is a terrific leader on the football field. He has fine pocket awareness and shows impressive velocity and accuracy hitting his receivers in stride pretty consistently. Luke was a 2015 Berks County League Section 2 all-star at quarterback and has been receiving serious interest from college programs in the region this off-season.