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Penn State gets its eighth verbal commitment, this time from a 3-star in-state linebacker.

Penn State adds yet another recruit to its 2018 class, the sixth-ranked hockey team to face No. 7 Minnesota and more

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This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Thursday, Feb. 3. Let’s get started.

Lions gain eighth 2018 verbal commitment

And so it begins. Or, at least, continues.

No sooner does Penn State sign one recruiting class than another takes shape. On Thursday, Charlie Katshir from Cumberland Valley High School in New Kingstown, Pa. – just south of Harrisburg – gave the Nittany Lions a verbal commitment, making him the eighth member of the Class of 2018.

Greg Pickel of notes that the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Katshir, a 3-star prospect, might play linebacker or safety at PSU. He is the Lions’ third commit from Central Pennsylvania, joining 5-star defensive end Micah Parsons (Harrisburg) and 4-star tight end Zack Kuntz (Camp Hill), who is friends with Katshir.

Philip Cmor of the Altoona Mirror writes that Katshir had 74 tackles and three interceptions as a junior, despite playing most of the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder. He was also offered by Pitt, West Virginia, Virginia, Rutgers and Boston College.

Cmor quotes recruiting analyst Brian Dohn, who believes Katshir can play linebacker at Penn State:

“He runs well. He’s going to have to learn to play closer to the line of scrimmage. But he likes to stick his nose in there in the running game now, so he’s not afraid of that part of the game. Because of the way he runs and the way the college game is evolving, you always want to take those kids from safety and move them a little closer to the line and bulk them up a little bit.”

Rise of PSU hockey team boosts Big Ten

Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press writes about the swift rise of Penn State’s hockey team, ahead of the No. 6 Nittany Lions’ visit to No. 7 Minnesota for a two-game series Friday and Saturday, and concludes that it has been good for the Big Ten.

Minnesota’s departure from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for the Big Ten four years ago was met with derision, Graff writes. Now, however, it looks like it was the right move.

As Gophers coach Don Lucia told Graff:

“I think people are getting more and more comfortable. We’re in the top 10, Penn State is, Ohio State is on the cusp, Wisconsin is having a good year. And then you look at Notre Dame.”

The Fighting Irish, ranked 17th with a 14-9-3 record this season, join the conference next year. And the Lions, ensconced in the state-of-the-art Pegula Ice Arena, figure to remain a contender for the foreseeable future.

As PSU assistant Keith Fisher told Graff:

“We didn’t know whether that was going to take three years or five years or eight years or 10 years. But with the facilities and the resources we have here, there was never a doubt in our mind that we’d be able to have a Top 10 program here.”

The Lions (16-4-2) are looking to snap a three-game winless streak against Minnesota (15-7-2).

Wrestlers visit Ohio State

No. 2 Penn State (10-0, 6-0) looks to continue its roll at No. 4 Ohio State (8-1, 4-1) on Friday, and the goal, coach Cael Sanderson told Jim Carlson of, is consistency:

“Yeah, there are different challenges that come along with a different match. When you’re trying to be your best every day, life gets a little easier. Maybe that’s a little more difficult to do that but that’s what we want to do as a team.”

Three matches stand out in particular. At 285, No. 1 Kyle Snyder of the Buckeyes (6-0) tangles with No. 3 Nick Nevills (13-1). Snyder is the defending NCAA champion and an Olympic gold medalist, but Nevills performed well last weekend in a narrow defeat to another highly-ranked wrestler, Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery.

At 149, No. 1 Zain Retherford (15-0) of PSU faces Micha Jordan (21-1), who is ranked fifth. And at 174, another top-ranked wrestler, Ohio State’s Bo Jordan (9-0) meets No. 7 Mark Hall (20-2), the Lions’ gifted freshman.

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