Penn State lands another top WPIAL recruit

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Penn State has landed yet another WPIAL football player from the class of 2010.

Tom Ricketts, an offensive lineman at North Allegheny High School, decided today that he will attend Penn State. Ricketts, who will be a senior this fall, made a verbal commitment to Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.

Ricketts (6 feet 6, 265 pounds) is the fifth WPIAL player from the class of 2010 to choose Penn State. It was the second day in a row Penn State landed a top WPIAL lineman. Fox Chapel's Miles Dieffenbach committed Tuesday.

The decisions of Ricketts and Dieffenbach are blows to Pitt because the Panthers were in the running for both. Also, Ricketts' father, Tom, was a standout lineman at Pitt in the 1980s. Ricketts' mother, Sandy, was a swimmer at Pitt. Tom and Sandy Ricketts also have season tickets to Pitt football games.

Dieffenbach's father is Pitt's womens tennis coach.

"My dad is very supportive with my decision," said the younger Ricketts. "He's probably a little surprised, I think. He may not admit that. I don't know if he ever thought his son would be in this situation. But he's happy for me. He doesn't hold anything against Pitt or Penn State. He just wanted what was best for me and this is what's best for me."

Ricketts said his final decision came down to Pitt and Penn State. His other top choices were Boston College, Florida State, Maryland, Stanford and Virginia. All offered scholarships.

Pitt also was recruiting the other three players who chose Penn State - Sto-Rox quarterback Paul Jones, Canon-McMillan linebacker Mike Hull and Penn-Trafford offensive lineman Luke Graham. Bradley recruited all five players.


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