Penn State received its fourth verbal commitment - and first from a WPIAL player - when Mount Lebanon wide receiver Troy Apke accepted a scholarship offer Saturday.
Apke could be the only wide receiver Penn State signs next February because of scholarship limitations, and he chose the Nittany Lions despite an offer from Pitt and strong ties to the Panthers.
Apke's father, Steve, played linebacker at Pitt from 1983-86. His mother, Sue, ran track at Pitt.
Apke committed while taking an unofficial visit to Penn State and watching the team practice Saturday, a week before the annual Blue-White game.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Apke also had scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Minnesota as well as from some Mid-American Conference schools.
"It was the right fit for him," Steve Apke said Saturday night. "Would I have liked to see him go to Pitt? Sure. But you can only go to one school, and he picked Penn State. I'm excited for him."
Apke caught the attention of Penn State with a breakout junior season in which he caught 54 passes for 1,048 yards and 13 touchdowns. He joins running backs Mark Allen and Nick Scott as well as linebacker Troy Reeder in verbally committing to Penn State.
Penn State is not permitted to sign more than 15 players next February because of NCAA sanctions. Their 2014 class may have less than 15 signees since the Nittany Lions are not allowed to have more than 65 players on scholarship in 2014.
Penn State has offered scholarships to a handful of Western Pennsylvania players, including Aliquippa defensive back Dravon Henry, Washington running back Shai McKenzie, Gateway defensive backs Montae Nicholson and Anthony Davis and New Castle athlete Malik Hooker.
Penn State offered Hooker last week when he made an unofficial visit to the school.