Penn State in danger of losing out on another elite in-state recruit with top tight end set to make his commitment

Andrew Olesh, the top tight end in Pennsylvania and a high-priority recruiting target for James Franklin and Andy Kotelnicki is set to announce his commitment today.
Penn State head coach James Franklin
Penn State head coach James Franklin / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the Independence Day addition of LaVar Arrington II, Penn State’s 2025 high school recruiting class sits at 21 commits and is the 10th-rated class in the nation. Still, the Nittany Lions need to add more firepower, and if what James Franklin says is true, that, “the best in PA, stay in PA,” then his staff needs to land four-star tight end Andrew Olesh from Center Valley, Pennsylvania. 

Olesh is the No. 2 recruit in the state according to 247Sports, ranked only behind four-star quarterback and Missouri commit Matt Zollers. Franklin lost out on Zollers who was a key target in the 2024 class and so far, has swung and missed on the top seven in-state recruits in 2025. Zahir Mathis, Maxwell Roy, and Isaiah West are all heading to Ohio State, Michael Carroll is committed to Alabama, and Cameron Smith stayed loyal to Manny Diaz with a commitment to Duke. 

Now, Olesh isn’t necessarily at a priority position for Penn State. Andy Kotelnicki will lose Tyler Warren from his offensive arsenal after the 2024 season, but 2024 five-star Luke Reynolds will seamlessly fill that void. Even in the 2025 class, tight ends coach Ty Howle has already landed two three-star tight ends, Matt Henderson and Brady O’Hara. 

Despite a crowded depth chart at tight end, Kotelnicki has proven himself more than capable of finding creative ways to get the ball into the hands of oversized wide receivers, which is the currently best description for the 6-foot-5 215-pound Olesh. Throughout his widely productive junior season, Olesh played almost exclusively on the outside, creating separation with his long strides and impressive footwork before dominating helpless cornerbacks with his overwhelming size. 

Olesh will need to add weight to become a function blocker, but his frame looks like it could handle it and as long as he retains his quickness, he’ll be a matchup nightmare which is valuable at any position. Still, more than filling a need, this commitment would be about making a statement to the rest of the Big Ten that is pillaging the top talent in Pennsylvania with reckless abandon. 

Three of the top six players in PA are on their way to Ohio State one season after Philadelphia product Marvin Harrison Jr. single-handedly dismantled Penn State’s elite defense while catching passes from his high school teammate. Now, Sherrone Moore and Michigan are getting in on the act. The Wolverines are projected to land Olesh who has narrowed his commitment down to Michigan, Florida, Alabama, and Penn State. 

If Olesh flees his home borders, at least for this recruiting cycle, Franklin needs to retire his favorite catchphrase because ‘the best in PA, just don’t stay in PA anymore.’