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Local football recruits take advantage of early signing period

Wednesday marks a new era in college football.  No more waiting around until February for high school athletes to sign a college letter of intent.  The early signing period is underway and a bunch of the best local players made their commitments official.   The one grabbing the most attention is Harrisburg High’s 5-star recruit Micah Parsons who revealed he’s staying close to home and playing for Penn State.

“Penn State was my first offer, they never wavered on me, they never quit on me,” explained Parsons.  “I just thought I owed them loyalty back, loyalty speaks a long way, they never gave up on me.  Somebody like that, that’s just somebody you want to play for.”

Parsons made the announcement in front of his family, friends, teammates and classmates in a ceremony at the Whitaker Center.  He is listed as a defensive end but Nittany Lions Head Coach James Franklin has already said he will try Parsons at Middle Linebacker.  He will enroll in State College for the spring semester.

It wasn't a given that Parsons would pick PSU.   For a couple of other local standouts, they made their pledge to Penn State a done deal, including Cumberland Valley's Charlie Katshir.

"That was always my dream.  I told my parents and my grandparents, I was going to play D-1 football," Katshir said.  "I told them it's going to happen so I just worked hard and it ended up happening today, dream come true."

A few hours after Katshir signed, Camp Hill Tight End Zack Kuntz is all smiles, ready to keep the family history of Penn Staters alive.  His brother Christian played for the Blue and White.

"It has really been a family up there, a second family for me and that's been a huge part of why I chose Penn State," detailed Kuntz.  "With Coach Franklin, it's not just football.  It's a lot more than that, it's an extended family.  I felt that way and for everyone in my family, it's been the same way."

Kuntz and Parsons are part of a group of six players to forgo their final semester of high school to get a head start on college this Spring.

The local trio is part of a banner day for Coach Franklin.  He signs a top five class one season after a Big Ten championship and top five finish in the rankings.   He promised to dominate the state in recruiting when he took the job and has now delivered the state's number one ranked player for the third consecutive year.

"It's kind of the sexy thing to do now," Franklin gladly stated.  "We got Miles (Sanders) and then we got Lamont (Wade) and then now Micah (Parsons) . It's going to be a lot of work to keep this thing going but as you guys know from my initial press conference how important we think this is, not only in this state but in this region."

The local pipeline to PSU is not complete for the Class of 2018.  Harrisburg's Shaquon Anderson-Butts is expected to sign his letter of intent with the Nittany Lions in February.

Several other notable signings on the first day of the signing period, including a commitment from Steel-High's Tim Kater to Army West Point.   It's a very impressive academic and athletic achievement for Kater who sets himself up for a bright future and follows a family member to West Point.

"I've been working so hard since I was little just for this dream and it's come true finally.  I just want to follow in my brother's footsteps," Kater proudly said.  "He went to West Point so I'm following that.  I think I made my Mom the most proud and my Nana who passed away a couple of years ago.  Hopefully, she's looking down on me and and she's happy for me."

Kater should get a chance to play in one of the best college football rivalries every year, the Army-Navy game.

At Bishop McDevitt, they add another player to the roster at Boston College.  Defensive Back Aaron Gethers joins former Crusader and current BC Wide Receiver Kobay White in the ACC.