Navy lands Ligonier Valley lineman Michael Petrof

Monday, June 24, 2019 | 7:35 PM

One day after his Ligonier Valley teammate and fellow lineman, Christian Jablonski, verbally committed to play for a Division I football program, Michael Petrof followed suit.

Petrof, an rising senior offensive guard and defensive tackle, announced Monday his decision to accept an appointment to the Naval Academy.

“I have always had the ambition to be in the military,” Petrof said. “The Naval Academy presented me with the best opportunity to play big-time football while serving my country. I want to pursue a career in the military because I believe that this is the best country in the world. And I would be honored to serve it.”

Petrof (6-foot-2, 280 pounds), who had 25 Division I offers, said Sunday he planned to commit before the season and wasted little time after Jablonski chose Lehigh.

Those two should give Ligonier Valley one of the largest and most talented lines in the state. Another senior-to-be, Wylie Spiker (6-3, 260), a two-way tackle, has an offer from Duquesne.

Petrof, Rams coach Roger Beitel said, makes colleges appreciate his “violence” on the field.

“Schools love his violence on both sides of the ball and his strength,” Beitel said. “He loves football and works very hard to make himself the best he can be. He has been very fortunate to have been presented with so many options, but in the end, Navy was the best of all the opportunities. An (excellent) education, and the opportunity to play FBS football.”

Petrof, recruited as a defensive tackle, has offers from the Ivy and Patriot leagues, the Northeast Conference, Missouri Valley Conference and others. His other options included Air Force, Delaware, New Hampshire, Youngstown State, Duquesne, Robert Morris, Lehigh, Dartmouth, Cornell, Lafayette, Yale and Harvard.

He visited Navy over the weekend.

Petrof last season recorded 70 tackles, including 12 for loss and eight sacks.

“It has been my dream ever since I started watching college football to make it to the biggest division,” Petrof said. “The preparation I put in, in the past, got me to this point. But I am far from content with where I am and know that the hard work starts now.”

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


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