Latrobe 4-star linebacker Alex Tatsch commits to Penn State

Sunday, February 4, 2024 | 6:48 PM

The post on “X” came out just before 6 p.m. Sunday from Penn State football coach James Franklin.

“#WeAre … Better,” it read.

That meant a high school commitment was on its way. And this one turned out to be a big get for the Nittany Lions.

PSU snagged one of the most coveted linebackers in the Class of 2025 this weekend in Latrobe’s Alex Tatsch, who announced his verbal commitment via “X” shortly after Franklin posted.

Tatsch made a visit to Penn State on Saturday to tell the coaching staff in person that he plans to join the program.

“The thing about Penn State is that they didn’t offer me right away, but they took time to build a relationship first,” Tatsch said. “That was a special thing to me. I knew there was something different about them. It set them apart.

“I was close (to committing to Penn State) a couple times. I knew. I didn’t want to wait any longer. I wanted to get it off my chest. I want to get (the process) started.”

Tatsch said his top five schools were Penn State, Notre Dame, USC, West Virginia and Stanford.

An assistant coach from USC called him the top 2025 linebacker in the nation because of his size, speed and ability to play in space. He has the attention to prove it, with 20 offers from Power 5 schools, but the four-star prospect took a unique liking to Penn State since the Nittany Lions offered him Oct. 28.

The day before, Franklin flew in and landed his helicopter at Latrobe’s Rossi Field to pay a visit to Tatsch.

“It’s a great fit for Alex,” Latrobe coach Ron Prady said. “With the way they play defense up there, Alex brings that kind of mentality. It’s a great fit for PSU.”

Prady said Tatsch’s decision was a “when you know, you know” kind of situation. Tatsch has visited University Park a half-dozen times.

“He’s going to play in front of 100,000 fans, in one of the best conferences in the country,” Prady said. “He really likes it up there.”

Tatsch also had Power 5 offers from Notre Dame, Pitt, West Virginia, USC, Michigan State, Stanford, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Marshall, Boston College, and others.

“I can see myself playing (at Penn State), for sure,” Tatsch said. “I wouldn’t have committed to a place where I wasn’t going to play.”

Tatsch made 111 tackles last season and had four sacks and four interceptions for the Wildcats (8-4), who made the WPIAL 4A quarterfinals and gave eventual champion Aliquippa a scare.

Tatsch will join another top player from Westmoreland County in all-everything running back/defensive back Quinton Martin of Belle Vernon.

Martin, who helped lead the Leopards to back-to-back WPIAL and PIAA 3A championships as a senior, enrolled early and left for State College last month.

Tatsch had labrum surgery in December and is on schedule to return to working out. He can stop wearing his sling Tuesday, he said.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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