The News-Sentinel sports staff will feature a different verbally committed player for the four NCAA Division I football programs (Ball State, Indiana Notre Dame and Purdue) in Indiana leading up to National Signing Day on Feb. 5.
Here is today's Ball State featured commit:
Hometown: New Castle (Pa.) High School
Weight: 170 pounds
Commitment date: Jan. 5, 2014
Other scholarship offers: Interest from Eastern Michigan, Temple.
Ranking: Not rated by any of the scouting services.
Ball State depth chart at Safety: Redshirt sophomores Dae’Shun Hurley and Martez Hester are the top two free safeties, along with senior Christopher Calloway. Fifth-year senior Brian Jones and redshirt sophomore Aaron Taylor man the strong safety spot.
Scouting report: McPhatter flies a bit under the radar because he plays in such a talent-rich area (Pittsburgh) and has 26 other seniors on his high school team, including an Ohio State wide receiver commit. McPhatter played two seasons at Kennedy Catholic High School before finishing at New Castle, and he was a valuable piece in helping the Hurricanes make the state playoffs this past fall for the first time since 2009. He lined up at multiple spots both offensively and defensively, including filling in at quarterback when the starter got injured. But he is projected as a safety for Ball State. He returned both kickoffs and punts in high school, so that is a possibility with the Cardinals. He earned second team honors in the Parkway All-Conference team, and is a key player for the Hurricanes’ basketball squad, as well. The Cardinals have a lot of experience and bodies in the defensive secondary at this point, so in all likelihood, unless McPhatter explodes in training camp, he’ll probably redshirt. McPhatter will be the lone Pennsylvania player on the Cardinals' roster, as coach Pete Lembo (former Lehigh coach) taps into his recruiting roots back east.