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Shaler's Holtz makes a commitment to PSU

Shaler tight end/linebacker J.P. Holtz made a verbal commitment Friday to attend Penn State.

"I'm a Pennsylvania kid," he said. "This is like a dream come true to go to Penn State."

Holtz met coach Joe Paterno during a recruiting visit and described him as a funny guy.

"He asked me if I was related to (former Notre Dame coach) Lou Holtz," Holtz said. "I'm not."

Holtz rushed for 432 yards and 10 touchdowns on 103 carries last season after the Titans lost their top two backs to injury. Shaler coach Neil Gordon said Holtz will return to tight end this season.

"He made that sacrifice for the team," he said.

Gordon said Holtz, 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, looks the part of a college football player.

"He has come a long way in the past year," he said. "He is an athlete, very good in the weight room. He has a nice frame. The first thing out of your mouth is, 'There is a Division I football player.' "

Holtz was recruited as a tight end, but Gordon said Penn State coaches have not ruled out using him on defense. He said he had scholarship offers from several other schools, including Michigan State, Purdue, Boston College, Virginia, Rutgers, Pitt and West Virginia.

Holtz is one of two WPIAL players from the Class of 2012 to make a verbal commitment to Penn State, joining South Allegheny tight end Jesse James.

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