The national champion Nittany Lion wrestling team landed an in-state commitment for its incoming class.
Centre County wrestling fans should remember Paul Feite, the one-handed wrestler from Northern who had the entire Giant Center up on its feet in March, even after losing a tiebreaker to Bald Eagle Area's Seth Koleno in the PIAA semifinals at 138 pounds.
As it turns out, Feite's resolve, as well as his relentless offense, left an impression on one particular spectator that day — Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson.
The senior, who was born with a rare condition called amniotic band syndrome, made his verbal commitment over the phone to assistant coach Cody Sanderson on Sunday, PennLive.com reported.
PennLive details a moment during PIAAs when Feite and his coach Josh Murray noticed Cael Sanderson and his staff sitting 10 seats up from them and joking about whether or not they were there to see him. The conclusion — probably not.
That all changed, however, the night Feite's father received a phone call from Cody Sanderson.
“I was like, ‘Funny. That’s funny,’” Feite told PennLive. “I thought he was messing with me.”
Then Cody Sanderson contacted Feite himself, telling him how much he liked his style, his relentlessness and the fact he was always the first wrestler back to the circle, according to PennLive.
Feite, who finished his senior season with a fourth-place PIAA finish, a District 3 gold medal and a 13-2 record, is known for having an incredibly fast-paced offense, a style that will help him fit in well with the Nittany Lions.
Although PennLive says Feite will not have an immediate scholarship, Cody Sanderson reportedly told him an opportunity might open up down the line.
Feite is projected to wrestle at 141 or 149 at the college level.