Pittsburgh and Penn State announced in June that a rivalry that had long been in hibernation would awaken for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Thanks to an announcement today, a player from the former school will now get a taste of what it’s like on the other side of the soon-to-be-renewed rivalry.
First reported by PantherLair.com, and subsequently confirmed by other media outlets, offensive lineman Tom Ricketts has confirmed that he will be transferring from the Nittany Lions to the Panthers. Ricketts is from the area (North Allegheny) and received a scholarship offer from Pittsburgh coming out of high school. Additionally, his father was a Panthers offensive lineman in the mid-eighties.
Ricketts indicated that the familiarity with the program and the area, as well things simply not working out in Happy Valley, led to the decision to move back home.
“I just signed the papers — everything’s official,” Ricketts told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It just wasn’t working for me at Penn State. I was homesick. I made the decision to go there when I was 17.
“I’m just real excited to be back home now and playing for Pitt.”
Per NCAA transfer rules, Ricketts will have to sit out the 2011 season.
Ricketts was a four-star member of Penn State’s 2010 recruiting class and the No. 6 player in the state of Pennsylvania according to Rivals.com, as well as the No. 19 offensive tackle in the country. He used a redshirt for his true freshman season at Penn State last year, and will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2012.