Each week, we’ll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses. We'll highlight a blue-chipper (a first-team player), an OTP (other top player) and an under-the-radar pick (someone who didn't make the squad but is making a case to be on the team).
This week, a star tight end gets an All-America nod, a running back eclipses a milestone and a wide receiver puts up some impressive numbers.
Blue Chip: Colin Thompson, Archbishop Wood, TE
Thompson has helped Archbishop Wood to a 4-1 record this season and a No. 2 ranking in the POWERADE Pennsylvania Weekly Rankings. The Florida recruit is one of the best blocking tight ends in the nation; he has only six catches for 64 yards and a score this season but it's how he's helped protect senior QB Joe Monaghan that makes him the nation's No. 1 TE and No. 84 recruit in the ESPNU 150. So it should be no surprise that Thompson was recently named to the Under Armour All-America Game, to be played on Jan. 5 on ESPN. He received his honorary jersey on Tuesday.
OTP: Julian Durden, Montour, RB
One of the big stories in the WPIAL this season has been the pursuit of rushing milestones. Durden's chase for the 4,000-yard plateau has been among the many milestones from area rushers this season. But some keen detective work from the folks at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have proven that Durden has already surpassed the milestone. P-G's Mike White dug up Durden's numbers from 2008, while the star tailback was with North Catholic. His numbers from his freshman season — 491 yards — put him well over the 4,000-yard plateau; in fact, he passed it a while ago. Consider this his past-due congrats for reaching the milestone.
Under the Radar: Chris Wuestner, Carlisle, WR
You could make a case that Wuestner has been the most productive wideout in Pennsylvania this season. In five games, his lowest receiving output has been 98 yards. For the season he's amassed 588 yards receiving, he's made 31 catches and he's found the end zone five times. In his team's game against Susquehanna Township this past weekend, Wuestner caught a season-high nine balls, and his 103 yards and a TD helped the Thundering Herd jump above .500 with a 35-27 win.