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Michael Albert Finds Best Fit in Princeton, Ivy League

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WPIAL athlete Michael Albert

The Upper St. Clair Panthers boast a trio of Division I talent in the class of 2025, and one of those prospects, Michael Albert, officially announced his collegiate home this week.

On Wednesday, Albert announced via X (formerly known as Twitter) that he committed to the Princeton Tigers over other offers from programs such as Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Lehigh, Maine and more.

Albert — a defensive lineman, who stands at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds and holds a 4.1 grade-point average — gets the best of both worlds when it comes to Princeton, as he’s able to play meaningful football while also pursuing rigorous academics.

“Academics were definitely a big factor in my decision and one of the many reasons I chose Princeton. I wanted to pick a school with strong academics and where I could compete at a high level of football.” Albert told Pittsburgh Sports Now.

Princeton’s recent success on the field, which includes a 10-0 season in 2018, stands out to Albert.

“Princeton’s tradition and their history of success is impressive — winning 40 of their last 50 games,” he said.

Albert had the opportunity to visit Princeton in April as he furthered his connection with head coach Bob Surace and the rest of the staff, which carried into his commitment decision.

“Our relationship has been outstanding,” Albert said. “The entire coaching staff has really made me feel welcome.”

While Albert still has his senior season ahead of him, he’s looking forward to showcasing his skills at the collegiate level.

“I’ve worked hard on my numbers in the weight room, my quickness and I try to play with an unmatched degree of intensity,” he said. “More than anything, I’m looking forward to being part of Princeton’s incredible culture. I hope one day I can earn an opportunity to help win an Ivy League championship.”

Albert’s verbal pledge marks the second Upper St. Clair product to pick Princeton in as many years, with 2023 wide receiver Aidan Besselman enrolling at Princeton this past fall.

Along with Besselman, Princeton has its fair share of WPIAL talent on its roster, including Mac Duda (Thomas Jefferson), Charley Rossi (South Fayette) and Luke Colella (North Allegheny).

With Albert’s college decision made, eyes will now be on fellow teammates Nate Stohl and Van Hellmann.

Stohl — a 6-foot-3, 265-pound offensive guard/defensive end — holds 17 D-1 offers, including programs like Army, Brown, Bucknell, Columbia, Duquesne, Lehigh, Maine, Navy, Princeton, Richmond and RMU.

As a 6-foot-2, 215-pound halfback/linebacker, Hellmann holds offers from Army, Merrimack, Navy and Richmond.

The trio will look to compete for a section and WPIAL Class-5A title before they head off to their respective colleges.

“I’m just as hungry and driven to help bring home a title this upcoming season. We have a strong senior class coming back. We’re a close group on and off the field and there’s no one else I’d rather share it with,” Albert said.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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