Penn State commit Zack Kuntz displays star potential as a football player. On Saturday, he became a state track champion.
Kuntz, a junior at Camp Hill High School in Pennsylvania, earned the title in 110-meter hurdles. He finished the Class 2A finals in 14.47 seconds, according to Ryan Baillargeon of PennLive.com, and showcased elite athleticism that places him among America’s most coveted tight end recruits.
— Ryan Baillargeon (@RyanBaillargeon) May 27, 2017
Consider that Kuntz is 6-foot-8 and 221 pounds, and it places this performance in rare territory. His ability to leap and accelerate at that stature speaks volumes about a skill set that has attracted an expansive group of football scholarship offers.
Listed No. 3 among tight end prospects in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings, Kuntz is one of five top-100 overall prospects pledged to Penn State. He committed to the Nittany Lions during Thanksgiving weekend.
Kuntz caught 107 passes for 1,648 yards and 18 touchdowns in his first three prep seasons, per MaxPreps. He plans to enroll early in State College next winter following his senior season, according to Greg Pickel of PennLive.com.
It’s a significant development for Penn State, especially because All-America candidate Mike Gesicki will depart after the 2017 season. Kuntz can participate in spring camp and get underway with regimented collegiate training by enrolling early.
“After talking it over with my family and my coaches, I think it’s the best decision for me,” he told Pickel. “It’s a great advantage getting to do spring ball with the team, and for me, a big part of football is, I’m going to need to put on weight, and that’s something I’ll be able to do under the coaches’ guidance and everything.”
Kuntz is one of two top-10 tight end commits in the Nittany Lions’ 2018 class, joining fellow 4-star recruit Pat Freiermuth of Massachusetts.
Kuntz impressed at The Opening’s New Jersey regional camp on April 30. Ronny Torres, the event’s player personnel director for tight ends and receivers, marveled at his potential.
“The guy handles his body really well, and in that aspect he should get better and better,” Torres said. “At 221 pounds, he has plenty of room to grow. … Zack is a smooth route runner and pass catcher. He also has the ability to spread out wide sometimes or line up in the slot.”
Kuntz received an invitation to The Opening finals Wednesday. This annual camp takes place June 28-July 3 in Beaverton, Ore., at Nike’s world headquarters.
— The Opening (@TheOpening) May 24, 2017
He joined two other Penn State commits on the roster – 5-star RB Ricky Slade and 4-star WR Justin Shorter – as invitees to The Opening. This group also will feature 5-star QB Justin Fields if he advances beyond Elite 11 finals, held June 2-4 in Los Angeles.
Former Nittany Lions pledge Micah Parsons, a 5-star defensive end from Pennsylvania who listed Penn State among nine favorite universities Friday night, also will attend The Opening. He quickly congratulated Kuntz on Saturday.
Congrats to my man zack Kuntz on winning 110 meter hurdles at states!! @zackkuntz_717 good job bro
— BLESSEDMVP (@Micah_parsons23) May 27, 2017
Kuntz also qualified for the Pennsylvania track and field championships in the high jump and 300-meter hurdles. He set a Camp Hill record in high jump in April with a 6-7 clearance, and he is the state’s District III champion in that event.
Hours after earning a state title in the 110-meter event, Kuntz claimed third place in 300-meter hurdles.
Incoming Penn State RB Journey Brown also earned a Pennsylvania state title Saturday, setting a Class 3A record in the 100-meter dash.