Dallastown High punter Mitchell Groh verbally commits to Penn State football program

Dallastown senior Mitchell Groh poses for a photo on the sideline at Beaver Stadium during his visit to Penn State in 2019. Groh announced his verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions on Wednesday.

It didn't take Mitchell Groh very long to make his college decision.

The Dallastown High School standout punter received a preferred walk-on offer from Penn State on Dec. 3. Less than a week later, he made his choice official.

Groh announced his verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions on Twitter Wednesday night with a photo of him in a Penn State uniform and a childhood photo of him getting a Nittany Lions' shirt on Christmas.

"I want to start off by thanking the good Lord for putting me in this position," Groh wrote on Twitter. "I want to thank my parents and coaches for always supporting me to be my best. I want to thank Jamie Kohl and the rest of the Kohl's Kicking staff for helping me along the way. I want to thank (PSU special teams ) coach (Joe) Lorig, (PSU head) coach (James) Franklin and (PSU special teams analyst) coach (Eric) Raisbeck for giving me this incredible opportunity. I am committing to Penn State University to further my academic and athletic career. #WeAre."

Groh grew up rooting for Penn State, but because of his original passion to play soccer, his family was busy with tournaments each weekend and unable to make it to a PSU game until he visited the school during its game against Purdue in 2019.

The Wildcats' senior specialist made a strong impression during his first trip to Beaver Stadium when he attended a camp held by Penn State and won the punting contest headed into his junior season.

“It was definitely an unbelievable experience just to go up there,” Groh said last week. “Just to see all the facilities and the field of the team you grew up watching. It was definitely a neat experience and to go and win it was just a whole different ball game.”

Penn State's coaches stayed in contact with Groh after his strong performance at the camp and over the past two years, Groh gained national exposure. Groh attended multiple Koh's Kicking events and after competing with the top punting prospects in the country, believed he belonged at a major NCAA program.

“That kind of really made me feel like, ‘I can do something here,’” Groh said last week. “That moment was the moment I knew I could go somewhere with this.”

Groh is ranked No. 19 nationally in his recruiting class by Kohl's Kicking and was named first-team punter on the MaxPreps Pennsylvania All-State team. Groh also had offers to play for Miami University (Ohio) and Fordham University.

Penn State has four punters on its current roster and Gabriel Nwosu, the No. 12-ranked punting prospect by Kohl’s Kicking, is committed to join the team next season.

“It’s an amazing feeling and I’m extremely grateful for coach Lorig and coach Franklin,” Groh said last week. “I have put work into football and they have put work into me. I’m definitely grateful for what they did for me and the opportunity they have given me.”

According to Dallastown's MaxPreps football site, Groh averaged 36.9 yards per punt over 19 punts in 2020, including 10 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.