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Greater Latrobe’s John Wetzel a Potential P5 Prospect to Watch



Greater Latrobe quarterback and safety John Wetzel.

When discussing the Greater Latrobe Wildcats, it’s likely that the story begins and ends with running back and linebacker Alex Tatsch, who possesses nearly a dozen Power Five offers. 

Tatsch—in spite of the heaps of praise he deservedly receives—is just one half of a one-two punch, though. The Robin to Tatsch’s Batman is junior quarterback and safety John Wetzel, who is as physical of a player as you’ll see in high school football, especially at a position like quarterback where business decisions are expected to protect oneself from brutal hits. 

Wetzel hasn’t announced any collegiate offers yet. With gameday visits to WVU, Delaware and Marshall under his belt, though, it seems like that’s only a matter of time, especially when one considers his high level of play. Primarily a running threat at quarterback, Wetzel picked up 240 rushing yards in Friday’s dominating 39-7 win over West Allegheny during the first round of the 4A WPIAL playoffs. He added four touchdown carries to boot. 

Greater Latrobe’s Physical Identity

Greater Latrobe head coach Ron Prady described the reckless abandon with which his signal caller carries the rock. 

“He’s not the type that’s gonna step out of bounds. We could tell him a thousand times ‘step out of bounds’ and he just won’t do it,” Prady said. “He’s a physical kid, he enjoys the contact, he enjoys it on defense too. He just plays really hard, he’s a gamer.”

Wetzel said that his physical style of play echoes that of his team. That mentality stems from a split practice where the Wildcats excelled on defense. They still drew the ire of their coaches, though, because they couldn’t maintain that same level of play on the other side of the ball. 

“I think we’re a defensive team at heart, and we just love to hit, and so our offensive coaches told us… ‘if you hit like you do on defense, you’d be really really tough,’” Wetzel said. “Ever since then we haven’t looked back, and we’ve tried to do that as much as we can.”

With collegiate discussions still in the early stages, both Wetzel and Prady played their cards close when asked about the ongoing recruiting process.
Prady said he expects the recruiting process to open up soon, though, pointing to those gameday invitations as evidence.

“We have Alex getting the attention that he’s getting—deserved. But I think it’s time for John to get his due too,” Prady said. “He’s gonna play somewhere, and he’s gonna be really good for somebody, probably on defense. But I think Johnny’s recruiting will start picking up too. There are people that are interested. It’s just a matter of whether they’re ready to pull the trigger or not… you can see where he’s been recently.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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