Pine-Richland’s Ryan Palmieri joins teammate in committing to Sacred Heart

Sunday, February 5, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The majority of high school athletes post their college commitment on social media as a way to celebrate the accomplishment and let everyone know where they are headed.

When Pine-Richland senior Ryan Palmieri found the right school to continue his football career, he didn’t follow that trend.

Instead, he quietly committed to Sacred Heart a couple weeks ago.

“I’m just kind of a low-key guy to be honest,” Palmieri said. “I really don’t post a ton of stuff on social media.”

Palmieri may be low-key when it comes to Twitter, but he’s extremely excited for his next chapter with the Pioneers.

He made the commitment official Wednesday on National Signing Day.

“I visited there a couple weekends ago,” Palmieri said. “I had an offer from them already, and I just really like the campus. It seemed like the perfect fit. I really liked the coaching staff and everything. It was pretty much a done deal after the visit, so I just went ahead and committed.”

Joining Palmieri in signing a letter of intent were football teammates Jake Beam (Sacred Heart), Max Heckert (Slippery Rock), Brady Carrigan (Walsh), Isaiah Kerns (Charleston), Matt Nicely (Wheeling) and John Rottinghaus (Duquesne).

Pine-Richland athletes from other sports who signed letters of intent were Sophia Menke (Kenyon College/volleyball), Kiley Hassinger (IUP/soccer), Katie Yanni (Case Western/volleyball) and Joey Perry (Seton Hall/baseball).

Palmieri’s journey to NCAA FCS football is quite remarkable.

It ended with him being named the PIAA Class 5A football player of the year, but at the start he was lightly recruited.

A midseason change from running back to quarterback sparked the offense and Palmieri went on to lead the Rams to a Class 5A state championship.

As Pine-Richland’s run to the state championship went on, he garnered more interest.

“During the season I wasn’t all that worried about it,” Palmieri said. “I was more focused on the task at hand and that was going deep in the playoffs. I just wanted to win a WPIAL and state championship. And honestly, throughout the regular season I was just thinking about that game that week, so I didn’t get hung up on it. Basically, right after the season it started to heat up, which was nice to see.”

Sacred Heart entered the picture through Beam.

The Pioneers were recruiting Beam as an offensive lineman and were intrigued by Palmieri.

“After the state championship, they came to visit the school and Jake said that the coach wanted to talk to me,” Palmieri said. “We both went down there and met him and that’s how it got started.”

Palmieri was recruited to play safety, but he said the coaches like his versatility as a player. He’s planning to major in finance.

Seven Rams football seniors are going on to play in college. Palmieri is pleased to see so many of his teammates getting the same opportunity to realize the dream of being a college athlete.

“It’s awesome,” Palmieri said. “Making that state run gave a ton of exposure for everybody. It’s great to see that so many guys that I grew up playing football with and am very close with are going on to play college football.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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