Nearly year after commitment, Central York's Pribula finally spends quality time at PSU
Last summer, Beau Pribula’s dream of playing football at Penn State was achieved when he verbally committed to the program in August.
The only problem was that he couldn’t actually tour the campus or meet with the coaches in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Posting his announcement video was special, but nothing could compare to spending the weekend in Happy Valley with fellow recruits and his future coaches.
Pribula finally got to take his official visit to Penn State recently and put on the jersey he grew up wishing he would get to wear one day. He also got to enjoy the moment he was denied last summer.
“It's pretty surreal,” Pribula said. “I used to dress up for Halloween in the uniform, but now putting on the real thing is really special. That's a big reason why I chose Penn State and it makes me even more excited to get there.”
That official visit came in late June and marked the third time the Central York rising senior quarterback made the drive to State College this summer. One of the previous trips was a camp he attended and the other was a meeting with his future coaches and new offensive coordinator, specifically.
Mike Yurcich is entering his first season as the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator and Pribula said it was important for him to build a connection with his future coach. Pribula was recruited primarily by former offensive coordinator and Red Land High School graduate Kirk Ciarrocca, who was fired after last season.
For Pribula, the short drive to campus from York has been important as he attempts to learn as much about the Nittany Lions’ new offense as possible before he enrolls early in January.
“It's really awesome and it's also a huge advantage to get up there and spend as much time as I can with them,” Pribula said. “Being a local guy, and a Pennsylvania guy, it's easy for me to get up there as many times as I can. I have a high school season to play, so they don't want me to get distracted, but to spend time with them and learn some of the crevices in the offense before I get to campus in January is a really big advantage.”
Pribula will need every edge he can get at Penn State, where competition for playing time promises to be intense. There's another highly-regarded quarterback in PSU's 2022 recruiting class in Ohio's Drew Allar, who recently competed in the prestigious Elite 11 camp.
Pribula and Allar are part of a 17-member class that is ranked No. 3 in the nation by 247Sports.
Expecting big things from Central season: In addition to trying to learn more about his future playbook and future teammates, Pribula is preparing for his senior season at Central York after leading the Panthers to the state championship game. Now fully recovered from the injury that limited him in their only loss of the season, Pribula is confident in the team’s outlook as the football season approaches.
With several senior starters graduating and going to play college football, the Panthers will look to their standout quarterback to lead them again. Pribula said that with head coach Gerry Yonchiuk in his second season, the team has a better grasp on his offense, and the normal summer practice schedule this year has been a huge help.
“I feel really good, not only myself, physically and mentally, but I feel really good about our team,” said the 6-foot, 2-inch, 215-pound Pribula, who recently posted a tweet of himself completing a 310-pound power clean. “I think we're making big strides this summer and we're definitely getting a lot better. Especially with losing 20 seniors and having a lot of young talent, I think it's very important to get them experience and get them reps. I think we've done a good job of that and I really can't wait for this season.”
While last summer was a mixture of success and struggle, Pribula was able to commit to the program he dreamed of playing at. Still, he battled concerns over whether his junior football season would happen at all. This year is completely different. The rising senior has enjoyed the chance to spend time on the field with his future and current teammates.
Although he loved the opportunity to officially put on the blue-and-white uniform for the first time, his focus is on winning games while wearing orange and white one final time this fall.
“It’s really exciting,” Pribula said. “I could probably talk about it all day, but in the end, I'm just as excited to play for Central York my senior season. This season, it’s gonna be really fun. I want to go out with a bang.”
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.