February 21, 2007

Quips standout tries to stay focused

Rivals.com recently placed Aliquippa's Jonathan Baldwin (6' 6" 225) on their list of 100 football juniors to watch for 2008. The big wide receiver, however, is drawing looks for both football and basketball.

Baldwin told the Pantherlair, "I was invited to Pitt's Junior Day this past weekend but I could not go. Our team had basketball practice."

Aliquippa's basketball team is now 23-2 after beating Burgettstown 87-66 in the first round of the WPIAL AA playoffs. Baldwin scored 14 of his 22 points in the first half as the Quips coasted home. The high-scoring Quips are ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA and are averaging approximately 83 points per game. Next up for Aliquippa is Monessen who upset Greensburg Central Catholic last night.

Aliquippa could face Jeannette before the WPIAL AA playoffs run their course. The Jayhawks feature another two-sport star in Terrelle Pryor (6' 6") who is also a Rivals.com Top 100 football prospect. Baldwin said, "We can not afford to look ahead. We have to play them one at a time. Everyone tells us how good we are but it won't matter if we don't take care of business."

Earlier this year Aliquippa upset nationally-ranked Mount Vernon 108-99. Baldwin scored 40 points in the overtime win. He is currently averaging 22 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game.

We asked Baldwin if he thought he might play football or basketball in college and he replied, "Right now I don't even want to think about it. I am trying to stay focused on winning in basketball right now. Baldwin already has an offer in basketball from Big East member Marquette."

Baldwin said, "Please adjust my weight in the database. I got weighed yesterday and I gained three pounds. I am now up to 225 pounds."

Baldwin who is 6' 6" tall makes an inviting target on the football field. He has some speed to go with his size. Baldwin said, "At a combine early last year I was time in the 40 at 4.31 and 4.33."

This past fall Baldwin helped Aliquippa to an undefeated regular season in football at 9-0. In a mild upset the Quips were beaten by Jeannette 19-14. The Jayhawks were led by Rivals No. 1 football prospect Terrelle Pryor.

Baldwin has made unofficial visits to Pitt and he attended the Michigan-Michigan State game in Anne Arbor last fall.

Baldwin hauled in 21 passes for 370 yards last fall. He averaged 17.3 yards per catch and scored 5 touchdowns. He was recognized by being named first team all-conference as a defensive end. He was also named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22. In addition he was a second team all-state selection by the Associated Press.

Baldwin has some good bloodlines. His father, Jeffery, played for Pitt in the early 1980's. His cousin Ty Law played for Michigan and has been an all-pro player in the NFL. Law started for the Kansas City Chiefs last year. Baldwin said, "Another cousin Josh Lay also played defensive back for Pitt. Sometimes I think everyone in Aliquippa is related one way or another."

Baldwin has football offers from Pitt, Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Colorado and West Virginia. Marquette has offered in basketball. Baldwin said, "Colorado and Ole Miss have offered recently. Clemson and Ohio State have also been showing interest."

Rivals.com has Baldwin on their list Top 100 football juniors to watch.

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