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Woodland Hills junior RB picks Penn State

| Saturday, July 19, 2014, 1:57 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Woodland Hills' Miles Sanders escapes a tackle attempt by Bethel Park's Alexander Minton on a 79-yard touchdown run in the first half on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

Miles Sanders already has had a productive high school football career, and he hasn't even begun his junior year.

Penn State coaches saw enough to offer the Woodland Hills running back a scholarship. Sanders saw enough of Penn State that he took to Twitter to announce he intended on accepting it.

Woodland Hills coach George Novak confirmed that Sanders made a verbal commitment to Penn State on Saturday while visiting the University Park campus.

“He liked Penn State from the get-go,” Novak said. “He made several trips to Penn State, and he liked it up there. His mom went up with him, and they both liked it.”

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Sanders is one of the state's highest-rated 2016 prospects, according to the major recruiting services. Novak said Pitt, Michigan, Michigan State and Virginia Tech were among the schools to offer a scholarship.

Sanders becomes the first commitment to PSU's 2016 class, and he would become the first from Woodland Hills to sign a letter of intent with PSU — he cannot do so until February 2016 — since 2002.

Sanders has been a starter since the first game of his freshman season and played for the WPIAL Class AAAA championship both of his seasons. Sanders has more than 1,800 career rushing yards.

“He's a full package,” Novak said. “He's a nice-sized running back. He's strong. And he has great speed — runs in the 4.4s — and he (bench) presses 300. He's a strong kid with great moves and great instincts. He has a lot of natural ability.”

Penn State coach James Franklin visited Woodland Hills within two weeks of being hired in January. Cornerbacks coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith — formerly the coach at Gateway — was Sanders' primary recruiter.

“Having somebody from Pittsburgh who went up there, that was a big part of (Sanders' decision),” Novak said.

Sanders tweeted Saturday: “I'm Officially a Nittany Lion, First Commit of 2016 #107kStrong #PSU.”

Another prospect on campus Saturday also tweeted he was committing to Penn State. Haddonfield, N.J., receiver Irvin Charles tweeted: “I'm proud to say I officially committed to Penn State University #WeAre.”

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Charles from Paul VI High is ranked by Rivals as the No. 6 prospect from New Jersey in the Class of 2015. PSU has commitments from four of the top six and six of the top 12 in Rivals' 2015 N.J. rankings.

Penn State's 2015 class stands at 18 prospects.

Verbal commitments are non-binding until letters of intent are signed in February of a prospect's senior year.

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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