Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Clairton's Wade Set on Psu Passes on Pitt, Wvu and Others

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Clairton's Wade Set on Psu Passes on Pitt, Wvu and Others

Article excerpt

In a banquet hall next to a church, Lamont Wade had his pick from the trinity of local college football teams: Penn State, Pitt and West Virginia.

There was no divine intervention needed for this decision, though. It was the Nittany Lions who won the recruiting showdown for the WPIAL's highest-rated prospect in recent memory.

"The thing I was saying in my head was if Penn State could win, then I would love to be in that program," said Wade, who put on a Nittany Lions hat after lining up caps for all five finalists, which also included Tennessee and UCLA. "They showed me that they can win with the Big Ten championship."

Wade, who finished his career as the WPIAL's sixth-leading rusher all time and with the third-most touchdowns in Pennsylvania history, announced his long-awaited decision Saturday night at Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church's auditorium in Clairton. It was a packed house of family, friends, coaches, former teachers and a few media outlets at a commitment party that also doubled as a graduation party for Wade, who will enroll at Penn State for the spring semester and arrive on campus early next month.

The final week leading up to the decision was filled with hype, from Wade posting a poll on Twitter that received almost 17,000 votes from fans for their favorite school to national website tracking his moves, but he made up his mind Wednesday.

"The whole experience was great," Wade said. "I really had fun with it, because you only get to do it one time. Right now, it feels good to be over."

Enrolling early has long been Wade's plan, so his decision came down to the wire. He liked a lot about what UCLA had to offer, but the distance was just a bit too much.

Pitt is in need of playmakers in its secondary and had seen plenty of Clairton standouts matriculate to Oakland, while West Virginia also seemed like a destination for immediate playing time. …

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