Signing day looms: Where will some of Westmoreland’s best end up?
By: Bill Beckner Jr.
Monday, February 5, 2018 | 4:27 PM
The start of the NCAA's regular signing period looms Wednesday and a few of Westmoreland County's top football players still are pondering where they want to play in college.
The player generating the most buzz is Jeannette senior Robert Kennedy, the state's co-player of the year in Class A. Kennedy, who filled highlight reels as a quarterback, running back, receiver and defensive back, has some low-level Division I interest, but it appears some Division II programs have gained traction with him in recent weeks.
He has offers from Cal (Pa.) and Slippery Rock, and recently made visits to both schools.
Kennedy said he still is weighing a number of options and called his recruiting situation “a blank page.” He has been noncommittal on whether he will decide by Wednesday.
Kennedy's initial Division I offers came from Duquesne, Robert Morris, Albany and Howard.
Another big local name on the market was John Gay IV, the running back at Penn-Trafford who garnered Division I attention late in his senior season. Gay announced on Twitter that his three finalists were Robert Morris, Air Force and Navy, and he made a verbal commitment to Air Force on Monday.
Penn-Trafford athletic director Kerry Hetrick said Gay plans to sign Wednesday.
Franklin Regional has a pair of prospects that have yet to make verbal commitments in record-breaking linebacker Bryce Lauer and multi-purpose back Nate Leopold.
Both grabbed recent offers from Division II Mercyhurst. Lauer also has an offer from Duquesne.
Hempfield senior tight end Braden Brose is set to sign with Delaware. Teammate and quarterback Justin Sliwoski is considering Dayton, Georgetown, Dartmouth and Columbia.
Belle Vernon's Blake Zubovic (Pitt) and Penn-Trafford's Logan Hawkins (Akron) signed during the new early-signing period in December.
Wednesday also will be an important day for local soccer players. A talented, championship-winning crop will validate their verbal commitments.
The list includes four girls from Norwin who led the Knights to a PIAA Class 4A championship and national recognition: Sam Wexell (Ohio), Emily Harrigan (Rutgers), Alyssa Victor (Duquesne) and Lexy Kendro (Duquesne).
And a trio from Penn-Trafford that powered the team to a WPIAL 4A title in Mackenzie Aunkst (West Virginia), Lauren Stovar (Army) and Hannah Nguyen (Duquesne).
Boys Division I recruits expected to sign include Penn-Trafford's Austin Kreutzberger (Radford) and Norwin's Anthony Harding (Penn State).