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Penn State football is a finalist for son of former Pittsburgh Steeler

Penn State football is looking to bring in another recruit with NFL bloodlines to Happy Valley.



Penn State Football, son of former Pittsburgh Steeler
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Garrett Wilson (5) can't make a catch in the end zone against Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) during the third quarter of their game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on October 30, 2021. Osu21psu Kwr 31

June is a massively important month for recruiting, and things will be no different in Happy Valley. Penn State football already has several high-profile recruiting weekends scheduled for the coming weeks. Prospects from all over the country will be coming to State College to see what James Franklin and the Nittany Lions have to offer. But one of these recruits will already have knowledge of what it’s like to play big-time football in the Keystone State. On Wednesday, wide receiver Peter Gonzalez, son of former Pittsburgh Steeler Pete Gonzalez, announced Penn State as a finalist for his recruitment. 

Penn State football looks to elevate wide receiver recruiting

Compared to other top college football programs, Penn State has not had the same talent level at wide receiver in recent years. This does not mean there have not been stars at the position. Over the last 10 years, Penn State has had players like Jahan Dotson, Chris Godwin, and Allen Robinson split wide. These talented receivers have elevated Penn State’s ability in the passing game. But, compared to other top programs nationwide, Penn State has lacked depth at the position. 

Every year the passing game gets increasingly important. More teams are running spread offenses and airing the ball out. Passing allows for quick strikes and faster scoring drives. As a result, talent at wide receiver is more important than ever. Therefore, James Franklin and his staff need to prioritize the position. 

Penn State might be recruiting wide receiver better than ever. In 2022, Penn State got a commitment from a top four-star wide receiver in Kaden Saunders. Four-star Anthony Ivey and four-star Cristian Driver (Donald Driver’s son who moved from safety to wide receiver) were also in the class. Three-stars Omari Evans and Tyler Johnson added depth to the position. Penn State also got a massive transfer in Mitchell Tinsley from Western Kentucky. 

This last year was much different from 2022. Four-star Carmelo Taylor was Penn State’s lone WR commit. The Nittany Lions instead used the transfer portal, picking up Dante Cephas and Malik McClain ( to fill the holes left by Parker Washington and Mitchell Tinsley. 

But the strategy for 2024 is still up in the air. Penn State could go the portal route or return to the traditional recruiting circuit. On Wednesday, Penn State learned some good news on the recruiting front, as three-star wideout Peter Gonzalez listed Penn State in his top three schools.

Penn State, a Finalist For Three-Star Peter Gonzalez

Peter Gonzalez, a three-star wide receiver according to 247Sports, has Penn State in his final three schools. In addition to Penn State, Gonzalez is choosing between Virginia Tech and Miami. Gonzalez is 6-2, 200 pounds, and runs a 4.49 40-yard dash. Gonzalez is from Pittsburgh, which makes him a prime in-state target. 

Gonzalez’s father, Pete Gonzalez, was a quarterback in the NFL and CFL. The elder Gonzalez only spent a few seasons in professional sports, but has ties to Pennsylvania as a former Pitt Panther and Pittsburgh Steeler. 

Penn State just had the son of a former Pittsburgh Steeler in Joey Porter Jr., and will be looking for the same formula here in Gonzalez’s recruitment. Gonzalez will be visiting Penn State on June 16th. Assuming Gonzalez wants to stay near home, the Nittany Lions have a chance to start building their wide receiver room early. Gonzalez could be another name that Franklin and company add to hopefully change the wide receiver narrative at Penn State.

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