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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Warren DLS’s Wangler picks Penn State, proving transfer was right move

By: Scott Burnstein, May 11, 2013, 10:00 am

WARREN – The gamble paid off.

Big time.

Warren De La Salle junior football star Jared Wangler rolled the dice last year when he decided to transfer from Royal Oak Shrine, the traditional Wangler family alma mater, with the intention of attracting wider college-recruiting interest.

In a week where Wangler (6-foot-2, 225) saw a pair of Big 10 scholarship offers thrown his way, the outside linebacker committed to Penn State, the ultimate goal, accepting a full-ride to a Division I school, finally achieved.

Wangler, who could wind up a safety at the college level, chose the Nittany Lions over Michigan State – which came in with an offer earlier in the week –, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green and Buffalo.  

His father John is a legend of the Metro Detroit prep scene (when he was at Shrine in the 1970s) and at the University of Michigan, where as a senior he quarterbacked the Wolverines to a Rose Bowl title in 1981, the first of Hall of Fame head coach Bo Schembechler’s career.

His older brother, Jack, a senior wide receiver at De La Salle and fellow Shrine transfer, will be walking on at Michigan in the fall.

The Wolverines had not offered Jared a scholarship yet, but the buzz on the local college recruiting landscape is that Michigan head coach Brady Hoken and his staff might have been preparing to offer him if he had kept his courting process open for a little while longer.

Halle Wangler, Jared’s and Jack’s older sister, was an all-state hoopster at Shrine and is currently playing on the hardwood at Oakland University. Their younger sister, Sierra, also a standout on the basketball floor, began her prep career at Shrine, however is now at Farmington Hills Mercy, where she helped lead the Marlins to a Class A district title and an appearance in the “Sweet 16” back in March. .

Shrine, a stalwart small-school athletic program in the area for decades, doesn’t provide the high-profile environment and Division I-prospect breeding ground that De La Salle does, the reason given for the Wangler brothers’ decision to depart the school their father helped put on the map as an all-state pick in three sports – football, basketball and baseball.

Last season, in Jared’s first campaign on the gridiron with De La Salle, he excelled, recording 75 tackles, 16 of them for lost-yardage, three sacks and an interception.

Penn State, only months removed from the Joe Paterno-Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal that nearly crippled the program, overcame adversity to finish 8-4 last year.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s alum Allen Robinson (WR) has been one of the Nittany Lions’ top offensive threats the past two seasons.

Wangler’s commitment to Penn State is the second player from the state’s prep ranks to commit to a Big 10 school in the past 10 days, on the heels of Grand Rapids Christian offensive lineman Tommy Doles giving his "verbal" to Northwestern.