Penn State Announces 2014 Early Signing Class

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting Cooper and his staff took over at Penn State in early August and certainly did not let a late start hamper them in their efforts to recruit talented prospects in the state of Pennsylvania. The result is a group of six prospects from in state that have signed during the early period to become Nittany Lions in 2014. 

Cooper has the following advice for those underclassmen beginning the recruiting process. "I think players should make a list of what is truly important to them in choosing a school. Going to camps at those schools is a great way to interact with the coaching staff. They also need to play hard at all times. Don't give a college coach a reason to not like you, especially when you can control how hard you play."

Cooper is excited about his first recruiting class of future Nittany Lions. "This class will give us a solid foundation to blend with our current team. We felt we needed to add tough, blue collar baseball players. This class truly embodies that."

2014 Early Commits

RHP Sal Biasi, Hazleton Area HS

Biasi is a 6-foot, 175-pound righty ranked No. 59 in the PA Class of 2014. He sits in the mid 80s with command of his complimentary pitches. Biasi went 3-0 with 3 saves and a 1.15 ERA for Hazleton Area in 2013.

RHP Nick Distasio, Oley Valley HS

Distasio is a strong, talented righty that has a big arm. He sits in the upper 80s off the mound and has shown his athleticism by also being an offensive force in high school. Distasio is ranked No. 13 in PA and No. 111 in the PBR combined Class of 2014 rankings.

C Nick Graham, Chambersburg HS

In a class that is top heavy with talented catchers, Graham is among the best. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound prospect has shown consistent pop times of 2.00 and a strong arm. He is ranked No. 22 in PA and No. 158 in the PBR combined Class of 2014 rankings.

IF Christian Helsel, Altoona Area HS

Helsel was a 2013 graduate of Altoona HS. The 6-foot, 195-pound prospect will join the Nittany Lions after a year at Ole Miss. Helsel hit .197 for the Rebels in 2013 in 39 games, 23 of which were starts. He took part in 18 double plays and fielded at a .931 clip. Helsel was the No. 9 ranked prospect in the PA Class of 2013.

LHP Taylor Lehman, Keystone Oaks HS

Lehman is a very projectable 6-foot-6, 200-pound lefty that sits 86-88. He has a feel for a mid 70s curveball and an upper 70s changeup as well. Lehman is ranked No. 43 in PA and No. 311 in the PBR combined Class of 2014 rankings.

RHP Justin Vardian, Bishop McCort HS

Vardian is a 6-foot, 175-pound righty that most recently sat 88-89 at the Elite Prospect Showcase, committing to Penn State shortly after the conclusion of the event. He also commanded three complimentary pitches. His 11/5 curveball showed 11/5 rotation at 75 mph, his 78 mph slider showed good late bite and his 76 mph changeup showed arm side run at near fastball arm speed. Vardian is ranked No. 34 in PA and No. 244 in the PBR Class of 2014 rankings.

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