football Edit

Nation's top punter Alex Bacchetta commits to Penn State

Penn State added one of the nation's top specialist Tuesday night in kicker Alex Bacchetta.

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Bacchetta is considered the No. 1 punter in the country by Kohls Kicking. He picked up an offer from the Nittany Lions a little over a month ago, and also had an official visit set to Penn State for June 18-20. That'll likely get pushed back a weekend now, so he can join the rest of the committed players that final weekend in June.

"First I would like to thank my mom and dad for all their love, support and encouragement," Bacchetta posted on Twitter. "I am extremely grateful for all the sacrifices - time, money and energy - that they made not only to help me succeed in sports, but outside of it as well. Next, I'd like to thank my Westminster coaches for being fantastic leaders and role models, and for teaching me how best to conduct myself as a student-athlete. I would also like to thank all the coaches and trainers who have helped me develop as an athlete and helped me through the recruiting process with endless calls and workouts. Jamie Kohl and his team at Kohl's Kicking kept me focused and the level of competition drove me to work harder. The OneOnOne Kicking Coaches inspired me and always pushed me to improve. Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to all the coaches and staff members at all the other universities that recruited me. I wish all the best to you and your programs. I would like to thank Coach Franklin, Coach Lorig, and Coach Raisbeck for their time and commitment in recruiting me from day one. After much consideration and thought, I would like to announce my commitment to Penn State University."

Bacchetta visited Penn State on his own back in August. He comes from the same school as former Penn State punter Blake Gillikin, who now plays for the New Orleans Saints, as well as tight end Holden Staes, who was once committed to Penn State. After decommitting in February, Staes committed to Notre Dame a few weeks ago.

In addition to the Nittany Lions, he also earned scholarship offers from Arkansas and Virginia, while a host of other top programs were pursuing him, hoping to add him as a preferred walk-on. Bacchetta was scheduled to take official visits to both Arkansas and Virginia, but those will no longer take place.

Penn State previously signed kicker Sander Sahaydak in last year's class. Sahaydak is expected to focus on kickoffs and field goals, with Bacchetta focusing on punting. In addition to earning the title of No. 1 punter in the nation by Kohl's, Bacchetta is also considered the No. 7 kicker.

"Bacchetta had another dominant performance at Kohl's Underclassman Challenge in January of 2021," according to his Kohl's Kicking profile page. 'His frame and leg speed separates him from the rest of his peers. The ball jumps off his foot. He had an impressive showing in both kicking and punting. Bacchetta's punting should only get better as he continues to master his drop and rhythm. Bacchetta is currently more mature athletically and just stronger than others his age in both kicking and punting. Bacchetta's "A" ball is better than anyone else in the 2022 class at this point. He will be a power five scholarship player."

Over the past two seasons, Bacchetta converted 25 of 30 field goals. He's 24 for 24 when attempting from within the 45-yard line.

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