Norwin’s Anthony Giansante commits to Western Carolina

Friday, January 22, 2021 | 6:46 PM

Anthony Giansante could have tapped out.

When Western Kentucky pulled his football scholarship several months back, and a few other offers also went by the wayside, the senior from Norwin had to regroup and essentially start over.

He continued to cast lines to college coaches, posting videos of his workouts, from weightlifting to footwork drills. He did not decommit from the overall process of selling himself and proving his worth at the next level.

As time went by, he got a few nibbles from new suitors. But only one school was able to reel in the brawny lineman.

Giansante announced Friday his second verbal commitment — to Western Carolina of the Division I FCS Southern Conference.

This one, he hopes, will stick.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive guard and defensive tackle could not visit the Western Carolina campus but went through a virtual tour that sold him on the Catamounts.

“It’s a big relief,” he said. “It’s been a long process complicated by the pandemic and NCAA rule changes. Coach (John) Holt and Coach (Jay) Guillermo did a good job in recruiting me. After learning more about WCU, I liked the school as much as the football program. We plan to attend a game in the spring.”

Steve Smith was Giansante’s line coach for four years at Norwin.

“Anthony has demonstrated that in the end, hard work pays off,” Smith said. “Nobody is going to outwork him. Many other student-athletes may have become discouraged and shut down by what (Western Kentucky) did to him, but he just used it to fuel him. I think the sky is the limit for Anthony, and he will be very successful at the next level.”

A first-team all-conference selection, Giansante was a three-year starter for the Knights and a Bill Fralic Memorial Award nominee for the top lineman in the WPIAL in 2020.

“He did not miss a game or practice throughout his entire high school career,” Norwin head coach Dave Brozeski said.

Giansante had several FCS offers up until November, but with the fluctuating recruiting landscape, some schools backed off or filled positions. That meant he had to keep preparing himself physically and mentally while he waited for additional offers to roll in.

Central Connecticut State, Missouri State and Gardner-Webb all offered before he ultimately chose Western Carolina.

How did he stay so patient?

“Just controlling what I could control, which is my work ethic,” Giansante said. “Some offers got filled, and some were not the right fit. I am thrilled to have found a home.”

Smith said he would critique Giansante the hardest because he knew the senior was his best lineman and one of his best example-setting leaders.

“He’s a great football player,” Smith said, “but he’s an even greater person.”

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


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