Class Of 2016 Recruits Jake Zembiec, Danny Dalton Win Respective State Player Of The Year Honors
Penn State’s stellar 2016 recruiting haul currently sits at No. 8 in the country — ahead of prominent programs like Florida, USC, and Notre Dame — but the stellar class received some added luster this week after two headlining members of the class were awarded Gatorade Player of the Year honors in their respective states.
Aquinas quarterback Jake Zembiec (Rochester, NY), fresh off a 460 yard, four touchdown performance in the New York State AA State Championship game, was awarded Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of New York, adding to the four-star phenom’s already loaded resume. Zembiec, one of the most highly-recruited players the Rochester area has seen in the past 30 years, holds numerous Section V records, and ends his career as arguably the greatest player to ever suit up at the powerhouse Catholic school.
As a December graduate, Zembiec will be arriving on campus a bit earlier in order to get acclimated and begin learning the fundamentals of James Franklin’s offense — something that will come once the school hires a new offensive coordinator. He’s got all the tools coaches look for in a player most have tabbed the school’s “quarterback of the future,” and aims to hit the ground running from the moment he arrives in Happy Valley.
6-foot-5, 244 pound Marshfield tight end Danny Dalton, who joins Zembiec as a leading member of Franklin’s 2016 group, also earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors for the state of Massachusetts after capping off his senior season with 49 catches for 702 yards and 11 touchdowns while recording 57 tackles, four sacks, three interceptions (one of which went for a score), and two fumble recoveries on the defensive side of the ball. Dalton helped lead his team to the Division Two State semifinals after going 11-1 in the regular season.
Dalton will also be graduating high school a semester early, meaning he’ll join Zembiec on campus when the pair arrives in January.
The future of Penn State football is brighter than ever thanks to the addition of high-caliber players like Zembiec and Dalton, and the prestigious state honors only add to the excitement surrounding Penn State’s vaunted 2016 class.