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National Signing Day: Canisius' Ollison, Touris make it official; Jamestown QB Sisson to Div. II Edinboro

By Keith McShea

As is usualy the case in Western New York, National Signing Day is one of important ceremonies, albeit without a lot of drama, certainly not the type of suspense that will be playing itself out on ESPN throughout the day as top recruits unveil their major college destinations.

The top local recruit, two-time first-team All-Western New York running back Qadree Ollison of Canisius, made is verbal committment to Pittsburgh early during the Crusaders' football season and the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder will make it official with a signing today. 

Western New York's only other Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) signing is Ollison's Canisius teammate Augie Touris, who verbally committed to the University of Texas-El Paso last month. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound lineman will also make it official today during a ceremony at the school. 

St. Joe's senior Tyler Hill has committed to attend Cincinnati and accept a preferred walkon position, but he technically is not signing a letter of intent today. The 6-3, 245-pound Hill was a uber-versatile standout for the Maurauders who earned first-team All-Western New York honors and whose long-snapping abilities made him attractive to colleges.

Also part of Canisius' signing day are a pair of Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) players. Defensive back Ryan Richards, a 6-2, 205-pound second-team All-WNY pick, will commit to Robert Morris; first-team All-WNY selection Mike Sharpe (6-1, 200) announced today he was accepting a preferred walk-on spot with Furman (S.C.).

Joining Richards in signing with Robert Morris this morning -- according to Depew coach Brian Wilson -- was Wildcats lineman Mike Lamb (6-7, 327), a second-team All-WNY pick.

At Alden, senior and first-team All-WNY selection Phil Zobrest, a 6-5, 227-pound defensive end, will sign today with Holy Cross. 

There was some significant news today out of Jamestown as record-setting senior quarterback Jake Sisson, The Buffalo News Player of the Year and the winner of the Connolly Cup as Western New York's most outstanding football player, will sign with Division II Edinboro (Pa.).

The 6-foot, 180-pound Sisson set Western New York records for passing yards in a game and season; he also set the Section VI championship game passing mark as the Red Raiders won the Class AA title.

Another Division II signing has All-WNY second team lineman Steven Stauss (6-5, 300) of Albion headed to Mercyhurst (Pa.).

First-team All-WNY defensive back/wide receiver Dylan Dussault (6-4, 193) of Alden will sign with Division II Walsh (Ohio).

Below are some other recent or upcoming local college signings from various sports: 

Continue reading "National Signing Day: Canisius' Ollison, Touris make it official; Jamestown QB Sisson to Div. II Edinboro" »

Olean basketball's Bathurst verbally commits to Cornell

By Keith McShea

Olean senior Wil Bathurst told me via Twitter direct message that he has verbally committed to Cornell. 

Bathurst was a first-team All-Western New York selection as a junior last  year for the Huskies. The 6-3 multi-talented forward was part of a third straight Section VI championship before Olean's season ended with a buzzer-beating loss to Batavia in the Far West Regionals. 

I've thought Bathurst had Division I potential all along, and thought he proved it last season. He has good size and has the ability to do pretty much anything you need on the court.

Video: Coach Robbins, Ollison on senior RB signing with Pitt

Canisius High football head coach Rich Robbins says he is happy for Qadree Ollison in his decision to play for the University of Pittsburgh next year.

Canisius RB Qadree Ollison verbally commits to Pittsburgh (with VIDEO)

By Keith McShea

Hello from Canisius High's auditorium. 

Podium is set up and lot of media members are awaiting the announcement of Qadree Ollison's verbal committment

* * *

Ollison verbally commits to the University of Pittsburgh. 

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound back started the announcement by saying, "I'm going to be leaving Canisius next year, and taking off the blue and gold, and I'll be attending ... 

[Gets hat out from under the podium.]

"The University of Pittsburgh."

He ended his podium speaking with:

"I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of my senior year here at Canisius. And I can't wait to be rocking the blue and gold again at Pittsburgh."

Here's video of the announcement (my apologies for the shakiness, it's because I had one hand on holding the iPhone and one hand typing on the blog).

Continue reading "Canisius RB Qadree Ollison verbally commits to Pittsburgh (with VIDEO)" »

Canisius' Ollison to announce college decision today

By Keith McShea

Canisius senior standout running back Qadree Ollison will announce his college decision today in a ceremony at the Delaware Ave. school. 

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Ollison will announce where he is verbally committing from among his five finalists -- Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wisconsin -- at 3:15 p.m. in Canisius' auditorium. Ollison was offered scholarships by 15 Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs. 

The announcement comes one day after the Niagara Falls' native's 17th birthday. 

Conjecture by many, including myself, has Pitt and Penn State as his finalists. Ollison said during the summer that he would make official visits to both schools. 

Continue reading "Canisius' Ollison to announce college decision today" »

Canisius' Ollison to announce college decision Sept. 9

By Keith McShea

Canisius senior standout running back Qadree Ollison will announce his college decision on Monday, Sept. 9 in a ceremony at the Delaware Ave. school. 

Ollison, who was the Buffalo News co-Player of the Year (with teammate lineman Ryan Hunter), will decide from among his five finalists -- Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wisconsin -- at 3:15 p.m. in Canisius' auditorium. Ollison was offered scholarships by 15 Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs. 

Continue reading "Canisius' Ollison to announce college decision Sept. 9" »

Canisius' Ollison will make official visits to Pitt, Wisconsin

By Keith McShea

Qadree Ollison said Saturday he will make official visits this fall to Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. 

He made the comments during an appearance on WGR 550-AM's "Inside High School Sports" broadcast.

Ollison trimmed his list of 15 Division I suitors to five in June. Joining Pitt and Wisconsin as finalists were Rutgers, Penn State and Syracuse.

Ollison has said he will make his college decision in the week prior to the Crusaders' season opener at McQuaid on Friday, Sept. 6.

Canisius' Matt MacDonald signs with Farleigh Dickinson

By Keith McShea

Recent Canisius graduate Matt MacDonald signed a Division I basketball scholarship with Farleigh Dickinson today, according to a tweet from Crusaders coach Kyle Husband. 

MacDonald was a third-team All-Western New York selection this past season. He averaged 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists to help the Crusaders win their third straight Manhattan Cup.

Continue reading "Canisius' Matt MacDonald signs with Farleigh Dickinson" »

Canisius' Ollison trims list of colleges to five: Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse & Wisconsin

By Keith McShea

Canisius' Qadree Ollison, who will be a senior this fall, trimmed his list of potential college destinations to five today via Twitter. 

 

 

A total of 15 Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools offered scholarships to Ollison: Penn State, Temple, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Cincinnati, Boston College, Rutgers, Connecticut, Nevada and the University at Buffalo.

Ollison's plan, according to Canisius football sources, is to verbally commit to a school on Sept. 4, two days prior to Canisius' season-opening game at McQuaid of Rochester. 

Ollison was selected (along with graduated senior Ryan Hunter) as The Buffalo News Player of the Year last season after he ran for a school-record 1,876 yards on 240 carries in the Crusaders' 11-0 season. 

The Niagara Falls native’s 25 rushing touchdowns were a school record, as were his 26 total touchdowns. With career totals of 2,679 yards and 35 total touchdowns, the junior is also now 401 yards and four touchdowns away from the Canisius records in both of those categories.

PrepTalkTV interview: St. Francis RB Akeel Lynch on picking Penn State

Photographer/videographer Mark Mulville & I headed to Athol Springs this afternoon to talk to St. Francis standout senior running back Akeel Lynch about committing to Penn State:

More to come in Tuesday's paper and we'll certainly discuss Lynch's choice during Wednesday evening's live video chat.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | [email protected]

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