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State College wrestler Cole Urbas announces college decision

State College's Cole Urbas is announced during the parade of champions for the 195-pound championship bout at the PIAA Wrestling Championships.
State College's Cole Urbas is announced during the parade of champions for the 195-pound championship bout at the PIAA Wrestling Championships.

There has always been a perception that athletes are just jocks and don't excel in the classroom.

State College's Cole Urbas isn't your typical athlete.

Urbas, who plays football and wrestles for the Little Lions, announced his intentions to the Centre Daily Times to continue wrestling in college at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I'm just really blessed to have this opportunity to wrestle for an Ivy school," Urbas said. "I felt like Penn was the full package, where I could become a more well-rounded person. Their wrestling program is on the uphill. I'm excited to be a leader on this team."

Urbas' decision won't become official until he signs his National Letter of Intent. The earliest he can sign will be November 14.

On Monday, Urbas left for Clarion University to train for a few days. He and others from across the state will travel to Fargo, N.D., for the illustrious Marines Cadet & Junior National Championships running July 14-20. Even with competition on his plate, Urbas said there was no timeline for when he was going to make his college decision, but it would take as long as needed.

"The recruiting process was really exciting at first," he said. "Then, it became overwhelming at times. At the end, it got really fun. Now that I'm committed, it's exciting and I just want to get on campus and start learning. I'm really excited."

The Little Lion says he plans on majoring in business while at Penn. He feels it will allow him to become a leader and make an impact in the workforce.

Urbas choose the Quakers over North Carolina State and Pittsburgh. He said he was also recruited by George Mason and Lehigh.

"The coaching staff at Penn is exceptional. Coach (Roger) Reina has proven himself and his ability to create national champions," Urbas said. "His positive leadership style is one that I see myself responding well to. I felt like I could fit in with the people there. I'm really excited to start meeting my teammates and peers."

Reina will begin his second stint at the helm of Penn. He has built quite the staff that includes former Penn State wrestler Bryan Pearsall and recent North Carolina State graduate Pete Renda.

Urbas felt with that staff he could leave his mark on the program four years from now when his collegiate career is over. He'd do just like he has in his high school career for State College's program.

"I wanted somewhere where I could lead by example," Urbas said, "and kind of start up this culture, which Coach Reina and Coach Pearsall are promoting. It's definitely a special thing to be at the ground level of this future successful program."

Even though Urbas has no ties to the University of Pennsylvania, its closeness to Happy Valley was one of the deciding factors of his choice. He said his parents, Ed and Jennifer, and younger brother, Lance, were very appreciative of his choice.

"They liked it more because it was close. They can come down and watch me wrestle," Urbas said. "I can come down for a weekend or something. Pennsylvania is a great state, so I wouldn't want to leave."