James Franklin’s early recruiting tactics are beginning to pay off, as he landed in-state native and IMG sophomore offensive tackle Chris Bleich for the Class of 2018 recruiting class. Bleich pledged to the Nittany Lions only as a sophomore, but don’t be fooled by his young age — the lineman stands at 6’5″ and just over 300 pounds.
Bleich holds offers from Syracuse and Rutgers, and received both offers as a freshman in high school. He has a wide array of interests from schools including Pitt, Michigan State, Maryland, and Boston College. Bleich’s commitment comes as no surprise, as he is a native of the greater Wilkes-Barre area. Bleich originally played at Wyoming Valley West high school, where he started every game of the season as a freshman on offense, and earned playing time on defense. This past year, Bleich continued to pave the way for a Spartans team that went undefeated in the regular season, and lost in the state quarterfinals to eventual state championship competitors, Parkland high school.
If the name Wyoming Valley West rings a bell for you, it’s because former Penn State wideout Geno Lewis also played there. WVW is also in the same region where current promising Penn State freshman Connor McGovern hails from.
While he’s received local notoriety for his football prowess with multiple team accolades, awards, and conference selections, Bleich elected to further his academic and athletic abilities by attending the prestigious IMG academy in Bradenton Florida, where he has worked tirelessly on improving flexibility and quickness.
What Bleich make lack in quickness and flexibility as a young lineman, this giant is no joke in the weight room.
When the time comes I don’t fail #405 pic.twitter.com/VVg6c6VgFB
— Chris Bleich (@Bleich72) December 7, 2015
As a freshman in High School, Bleich posted astonishing numbers in the weight room both on the bench and the squat rack that exceeded 400 pounds each. His hudl tape displays his dominance on the field with amazing footwork, quick hands, and #Unrivaled strength.
Bleich is the first commit of the Penn State class of 2021, but will certainly be leading the way with his dominant play and leadership.
Welcome to the family, Bleich!