Five years ago, Phil Davis, a resident of Harrisburg, Pa., joined the Penn State wrestling team on his way to a national title during his senior year.
Earlier this week, the No. 14 Nittany Lions signed another Harrisburg native to a National Letter of Intent.
High school senior Edward Ruth will join the Lions at the start of their 2008-09 season. Ruth is a top wrestler in the state in the 171-pound weight class.
"He's a great high school wrestler who's demonstrated his ability," Penn State coach Troy Sunderland said. "I think with the experience he's had in high school, we're excited to have him enter our program and we're looking forward to working with him in years to come."
Ruth wrestled at Susquehanna Township High School from his freshman to junior years. Now, he attends the Blair Academy in New Jersey where he will complete his senior year before joining the Lions.
The 171-pounder will see some familiar faces when he begins his collegiate career at Penn State. Senior Tim Haas said some members of the team have seen Ruth wrestle when he came to Rec Hall for various camps and meets. After seeing him several times, Haas said Ruth will bring "a lot of positive things and a lot of talent" to the wrestling program at Penn State.
Freshman Quentin Wright is familiar with Ruth as well. In each of the past two years, Wright and Ruth have wrestled each other in the PIAA state semifinals. In both years, Wright has defeated Ruth and went on to win the state championship.
Ruth was a PIAA Triple-A place-winner in both of those seasons, finishing fourth and fifth in the state tournament. In 2008, he also won the NHSCA High School Junior National Championship.
"I know him personally, and he's a good kid," Wright said. "He has a lot of potential, I'd have to call it, and he's gonna bring it here to Penn State."
Sunderland said Ruth will bring a high level of competition and a desire to win to the team. Sunderland said he hopes to turn Ruth into a multiple time national champion and an All-American while he is at Penn State.
Wright agreed with his coach, saying the 171-pounder will bring a lot of what Davis brought to the team, talent and a desire to win.
"He has a really unique style and it's gonna be a little bit different, but overall, it's going to be exciting," Wright said.