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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)

St. Francis RB Akeel Lynch commits to Penn State (with tons of links & video)

St. Francis standout running back Akeel Lynch has verbally committed to Penn State. 

He did so via his Twitter page late Sunday night: "Making my dreams become a reality. #weare #pennstate".

Lynch, a 6-foot, 204-pound native of Toronto, originally verbally committed to Boston College last July 15 (our story is here; watch our video interview with him that day about his decision on the blog).

At the time, he said he selected BC over Penn State.

That was long before the news broke -- in November -- of the child sex abuse charges against former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky. The tumultous months that followed included the school's firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno, the hiring of current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien earlier this month to replace him, and Paterno's death on Sunday.

Lynch's committment to Boston College became more and more tenuous as the high school season came and went. Lynch did participate in a recruiting trip to BC on Dec. 3, which caused him to miss the Connolly Cup awards banquet (he was one of 10 finalists).

After his successful senior season -- during which St. Francis won the Monsignor Martin Association championship -- Lynch began to received more recruiting attention.

In early January, he told Boston College that he would be considering other schools. Iowa and Oklahoma had coaches visit Lynch. On Monday, Lynch said Penn State was a finalist along with Iowa, Ole Miss and Oklahoma.

Lynch visited Iowa in early January, had a visit to Oklahoma canceled when a snowstorm canceled his flight, and he visited Penn State this past weekend.

The first day football recruits can sign with schools is Feb. 1. Lynch will make his official announcement then during a ceremony at the Athol Springs school.

Lynch was a first-team All-Western New York running back, the runner-up for The News Player of the Year award (it went to St. Joe's QB and Clemson commit Chad Kelly) and was selected as New York State's Gatorade Player of the Year. Lynch ran for a Monsignor Martin single-season record 2,136 yards in his senior season.

A highlight game in his highlight season was running for five touchdowns and a school-record 376 yards on 31 carries (the totals were updated after the game) in St. Francis' 42-27 win at fellow top 10 large school Bishop Timon-St. Jude on Oct. 7. Check out the PrepTalkTV video from that game: 

Other PrepTalkTV videos featuring Lynch: Week Six wrapup (including his postgame comments on Timon game), Monsignor Martin semifinals and Monsignor Martin championship.  

More to come.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

EA's Stan Wier verbally commits to UB hoops

Basketball standout Stan Wier has verbally committed to the University at Buffalo.

The East Aurora senior-to-be emailed me and said he picked UB's offer over those from The Citadel, Princeton, Cornell, Rhode Island and Colgate. Wier said more offers have come in since he turned heads playing for the Albany City Rocks at the AAU National Tournament in Orlando a few weeks ago.

"It feels absolutely unbelievable -- to grow up in Western New York, play here, win a Federation title and then be blessed with the opportunity to play for your hometown college on such a great team," said Wier, who said he also worked out with St. Bonaventure. "After a few visits with the coaches and players everything felt perfect.

"Several calls and offers had come in since the Nationals and I had made a lot of visits in July ... but nothing felt as good as everything UB has to offer. UB has a great squad and I believe the City of Buffalo is in for a big surprise and treat over the next few years."

Wier has had a well-traveled and impressive high school career that has come full circle. He was an All-Western New York honorable mention with East Aurora as a freshman; he was a second-team All-WNY pick in helping Nichols to the state Federation championship as a sophomore; last year he played with and against top talent at Indiana private school La Lumiere; this fall he makes his return to East Aurora.

Next year, he'll be at UB -- where he'll meet up with former Nichols teammate Will Regan, who is sitting out the upcoming season at UB following his transfer from Virginia after playing there as a freshman.

"I’m excited to reunite with my former teammate," said Wier. "Virginia must have been a great learning/growing experience for him and I can only wait to see how much he has improved."

Wier was listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds on La Lumiere's page. He is an obviously well-built shooting guard who has outstanding range. His outside shooting was a devastating factor in Nichols' run to the Federation title and I think it's very worthy of a Division I program (I thought that after his sophomore year). He also displayed some fine one-on-one defense and great competitiveness for Nichols during that championship season.

"It feels good to have this process complete," Wier said. "Over the years, I have made decisions that I hoped would make me a better basketball player. It wasn’t always easy leaving the new friends I made each year but playing for UB makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it.

"I get the privilege to play for Coach Witherspoon and before that I am excited to play my senior year with my brother Cam and my friends at East Aurora. Coach [Chris] Koselny is demanding that all the players commit to being successful and EA is on the rise. All of us are working hard to get better. I went to the Buff State [Section VI championship week] games last year and remembered how exciting it was to play there with my older brother Thad [when Stan was a freshman]. I really hope Cam and I can share the same memories."

Wier elaborated (in a well-written email) about his reasons for selecting UB:

"Academics: UB is really a great academic institution. I think a lot of people take it for granted because it’s practically in their backyard and don’t realize how it measures up with the best in many ways.

Coaches/team chemistry: Coach [Reggie] Witherspoon and [assistant Jim] Kwitchoff are great guys. Their passion and intensity seemed a notch above. I have known [former standout and current assistant] Turner Battle for years: he is a great guy and was an amazing player. I am so excited to learn from him. As for chemistry: The UB team is a unit. They like each other, get along well and I just knew that I wanted to be part of them.

Win -- get to the NCAA Tourney. Coach Witherspoon has put together a great roster that has at least three other players of high major playing ability that could play for most any school in the country. Guys like Javon McCrea, Xavier Ford, Will Regan (everyone knows how good a player Will is), Dave Barnett [walk-on from EA] and other great players.

With this roster and the new guys coming in, I believe Buffalo will win the Mid-American Conference and could very well become the next Butler. Really, really excited for this opportunity.

Play: I have a strong passion for basketball and wanted to go to a school where I have a good opportunity to play as a freshman and have impact. I will be working hard as ever this next year and am really looking forward to getting involved with the team as early as I possibly can.

Coach: I am sure that after my playing days are over I want to be an NCAA coach. Coach Witherspoon has offered to take me under his wing, arrange some camps at other schools that I can work and involve me in the coaching process while I am at UB. I can’t thank him enough."

Wier's return to EA certainly makes for an intriguing storyline in the ECIC and Section VI, while being the latest local player to commit to UB provides another layer of excitement for Western New York basketball fans. It should be a fun hoops year -- and to think we've got a whole football season to go before that (starting Monday). 

And now, since I'm writing this from the Watkins Glen International media center, back to auto racing. :-)

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

St. Francis RB Lynch commits to Boston College (with video)

St. Francis coach Jerry Smith congratulates Akeel Lynch as several Red Raiders look on. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

St. Francis
running back Akeel Lynch verbally committed to Boston College this afternoon. 

Lynch, a native of Toronto who will be a senior this fall, made the decision in the Athol Springs private school's weight room.

The 6-foot, 1/2-inch, 205-pound Lynch -- who runs a 4.45 40-yard dash -- said he selected BC over Penn State. 

"The offense fits my style, it's the zone offense that we run here," Lynch said. "Also, their ability to move me around [on offense], which I really like. I think what really made the difference were the coaches. They made me feel like I was part of the family. I think that's key in anywhere you go, because after football you got to have people to help you succeed in life."

Other schools to offer Lynch a scholarship included Duke, Cincinnati, Syracuse, UConn, University at Buffalo and Akron.

Lynch played just six games as a junior, missing the final five after undergoing surgery to repair a detached tendon on his left ring finger. He still earned a spot on the All-Western New York second team by running for 828 yards on 121 carries for an average of 6.8. He scored a total of 10 touchdowns, including five in one game in a 49-21 win at St. Joe's.

This gives Western New York in general, and the Monsignor Martin Association in particular, two major college verbal commitments for the Class of 2012. Quarterback Chad Kelly of St. Joe's has committed to Clemson. 

I'll have much more after taking part in today's Sully Live video chat.

* * *

Here's some video:

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

East's Fisher, I-Prep's Hillman among nine NCCC hoop signees

Three Yale Cup standouts are among an impressive recruiting class for Niagara County Community College and coach Bill Beilein.

All-Western New York first teamer Tremmell Fisher of East and honorable mentions John Black of McKinley and Kadeem Hillman of International Prep at Grover Cleveland will all sign letters of intent to the school on Wednesday. Also signing will be two Niagara Frontier League standouts in Jake Hughes (Niagara-Wheatfield) and Marc Morreale (Lew-Port) as well as Dut Dour, a 2010 Bishop Timon-St. Jude All-WNY honorable mention who is transferring from St. Bonaventure.

The class will be introduced at 5 p.m. Wednesday during a press conference in NCCC's athletics lobby.

Also signing are two out-of-town recruits: Jordan Green from New Rochelle of downstate's Section I and Andre "TJ" McCrea from Brien McMahon High School in Connecticut.

Also making it official tomorrow will be Marcus Feagin of Niagara Falls, who will sign Wednesday with Monroe Community College.

I've written before about how I think Feagin might be the type of player who could use his time at MCC to possibly springboard to a scholarship somewhere; I think Hillman and Fisher could become candidates to do the same via NCCC.

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

More major D-I programs interested in St. Joe's QB Kelly

St. Joe's junior Chad Kelly said after Saturday night's Manhattan Cup semifinals that the number of Division I football scholarship offers he's received is still three -- Florida State, University at Buffalo and Western Michigan -- but he said several programs have contacted him recently, including Tennesee and Michigan State.

---Keith McShea

St. Joe's QB Kelly offered by Florida State

St. Joe's junior Chad Kelly has been offered a scholarship by Florida State, according to

The site states he has received offers from the University at Buffalo and Western Michigan.

Based on his first-team All-Western New York performance as a junior in leading St. Joe's to the Monsignor Martin Association championship (review the championship game at Prep Talk Live), including becoming the first quarterback in state history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000, I would think this is just the start of the offers for Kelly.

Also, Rodney McKissic reports over at the Campus Watch blog that UB has also offered St. Francis running back Akeel Lynch and Canisius defensive tackle Corey Madlock.

---Keith McShea

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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 |