By John Lohn, Delaware County Times
August 20, 2007
For years, Pete Massaro hoped to play baseball at the collegiate level. It’s turned out that the football field is where Massaro will make his mark beyond his high school years.
An All-Delco defensive lineman from Marple Newtown, Massaro put an end to the recruiting process Sunday night by committing to Penn State University through a call to assistant coach Ron Vanderlinden. Massaro was expected to speak with legendary coach Joe Paterno Monday night.
Before choosing Penn State, Massaro weighed a number of scholarship offers, including an overture from Boston College, his other finalist. The 6-4, 245-pounder also considered Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Duke Syracuse, Connecticut and Temple.
“I’m excited to have this out of the way,” said Massaro, who can sign a letter of intent in early February. “It’s going to let me focus on the team. I thought it would be better to get it done and not have it hanging out there. It was real hectic and now I can do my thing. It all kind of snuck up on me. Until last year, I thought I was going to play baseball in college.”
Massaro took a visit to Penn State during his spring break, but walked away from that trip without a strong feeling toward the school. But, by the time he arrived home from attending Penn State’s senior camp in June, he had a different vibe.
Also an offensive lineman for the Tigers, Massaro guided Marple to an eight-win season in 2006, along with a berth to the PIAA Class AAA playoffs. He finished his junior year with 52 tackles, including 13.5 for loss. He added four sacks and six quarterback hurries. Penn State plans on using Massaro as a defensive end.
“I got real comfortable there and felt like it could be a second home,” Massaro said. “The first time I visited, I thought I might have been over my head. But, I felt better after the camp. It’s a dream I’m going to get to go there.”
Penn State’s current roster includes a pair of Delaware County products, most notably Dan Connor. The Strath Haven graduate is rated as one of the top linebackers in the country and was named a tri-captain Monday. Meanwhile, Upper Darby graduate Joe Toriello is a redshirt junior playing offensive tackle.
The possibility exists where Massaro will take a redshirt year, although he’s been told that a redshirt is not a certainty. Until he gets to Happy Valley, Massaro will try to lead Marple to another postseason berth. The Tigers open their regular season Aug. 31 against Kennett.
“We’re very proud of him and what he’s accomplished,” said Marple coach Ray Gionta. “He’s a great leader. The timing is good for him having this finished. He should feel relaxed. We’re proud he’s going to play at a school that’s in our state and has a great tradition.”