Penn State has signed two or less football players from the WPIAL in 12 of the past 13 recruiting classes.
But Penn State now has three WPIAL recruits from the class of 2024.
The most recent player to choose Penn State is Central Catholic receiver Pete Gonzalez, a senior who announced Friday night that he has verbally committed to Penn State.
Gonzalez is rated a three-star receiver by Rivals.com. He is 6 feet 3, 200 pounds and his final list of schools included Penn State, Virginia Tech and Miami.
Gonzalez’s father, Pete, is a former Pitt quarterback, but Gonzalez didn’t put Pitt in his final three schools. Gonzalez made an official visit to Penn State last weekend.
Gonalez is the second Central Catholic senior to choose Penn State.
The other is linebacker Anthony Speca. The other WPIAL player to commit to Penn State is five-star recruit Quinton Martin, a running back at Belle Vernon.
The last time Penn State had this many recruits from a WPIAL class was 2015 when the Nittany Lions signed four from the league – Kittanning tight end Nick Bowers,
Gonzalez missed the beginning of last season while recovering from a knee injury. He ended up as Central Catholic’s second-leading receiver with 42 catches for 735 yards.
Central Catholic has a new coach in Ryan Lehmeier, but Lehmeier is familiar with Gonzalez.
He was an assistant at Seneca Valley last year when the Raiders played Central Catholic. Lehmeier also has seen Gonzalez in plenty of Central Catholic workouts so far this spring.
“He’s been great to work with,” Lehmeier said. “He has a high football IQ and is extremely talented.
He has a rare combination of size and speed. He can accelerate and get in and out of his cuts for being a bigger guy. He’s been impressive.”