Pitt recruit Lovelace serves as
Leechburg’’’s leader on, off field
by MICHAEL LOVE
Biology is among his favorite subjects,Band he is immersed in the Spanish raylan Lovelace earned 13 Division
““My Spanish teacher talks a lot I football offers throughout the college
how much she’’s traveled, and it sounds
lege recruiting process, and three of
like something I would love to do,”them came from the Ivy League.
Brown, Columbia and Penn recognized
Lovelace said that as proud as the 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete’s ability on
his academic accomplishments, the field and in the classroom.
wants to make sure that extends Education is a high priority for the
entire Blue Devils team.
Leechburg senior, who carries a 4.05
““With coach (Randy) Walters, grade-point average.
these papers, pretty much like grade
“It was an amazing feeling to receive
checks, we have to give to each teacher
those offers,” said Lovelace, who ulti
because he wants to see how we are mately made a verbal commitment to
ing in class,”” Lovelace said. ““That Pitt in June.
important thing each week beyond “Some people, including a lot of young
we are doing to get ready for whoever athletes, may not realize how much a
are playing that Friday or Saturday.
good education can push you through
““It’’s a big thing for me to want to an athletic career. It really can, and
example, maybe as a role model,grades do matter. It’s always been a goal
ers to see that even though Leechburg to have my GPA be at 4.0 or higher. My
a small town, you can achieve big sister (Mikayla) has always been a bright
with academics and athletic ability.”
student with all A’s all the time.
“She set an example that I wanted to
TThhee nnaammee oonn tthhee bbaacckk
follow. And my mom (Danielle)
Lovelace is the first Division I is a (chemistry) teacher at
commit from Leechburg since his Valley. She expects a
Dave, earned a scholarship to Rutgers lot from me, as does
my father (Dave).
Dave Lovelace, who also received
They are ones who
offers from Temple and Ohio University,have set great
played two years for the Scarlet Knights.
““It always was my goal since I family has
kid to be the next Division I player really pushed
come out of Leechburg after my dad,””me forward
Braylan said. ““He’’s always valued and made
big work ethic. He told me everything sure I have
needed to do to excel at the highest done what
and be prepared for each opportunity was needed to
front of me. He’’s made sure I don’’succeed.”
anything less than my best effort.”
Lovelace impressed Pitt coaches the PowerSchool
camp in mid-June and, after an official
Mobile App is a
visit, made Pitt his No. 1 choice. powerful tool his mother uses
opened more eyes at 7-on-7 showcases
to keep him on his toes.
with Evolve 2tenths.
“Every time a teacher enters
Pitt was one of his favorite teams a grade into the system, her phone gets
ing up, and he said he was ecstatic a notification,” he said. “She will send a
make a dream a reality and become screenshot to me saying, ‘You better fix
second D-I football player in the this’ or ‘This has to be better’ or ‘Great
““The day I made my decision, I job on this.’ She’s always on it. There’s
in the car with my dad on the way no hiding anything from her. I appreci
from my official visit and on the ate that.”
a Leechburg football golf outing,””Lovelace said he is undecided
Braylan, who will be front and center
as to what he wants to study at
Sept. 1 when the 16th-ranked Panthers
Pitt, but he knows he still has a
open their season against West Virginia
good amount of time to find his
in the renewal of the Backyard Brawl.
““He recorded the whole thing, “I’ll figure it out,” he said.
to (Pitt coach Pat) Narduzzi. He had 14 • SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2022 • VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
INSET: SHANE DUNLAP