No, it's not a five-star tight end from Pennsylvania, but Black Shoe Diaries did just land the commitments of four-star Jared Slanina (loses a star for being from Ohio) and four-star Keith Platt (same, but New Jersey). Welcome to the BSD family, Jared and Keith!
Their individual introductions after the jump...
Former BSD handle: "whiteout1"
We are very pleased to introduce our newest member to the Black Shoe Diaries staff, lucky number thirteen, Jared Slanina. Jared will be working as a recruiting analyst and will play a major role in our efforts to increase the recruiting coverage we provide to our valued readers.
Jared will provide some much-needed MACtion to BSD, as he has a master's degree in journalism from Kent State. He lives in Stow, Ohio and is employed as a public relations specialist. Besides Penn State football, he enjoys reading nonfiction, spending time outdoors, enjoying dinner and a few beers with friends and family, and being with his pets—Pillsbury, an American Bulldog/Pug mix and Tamba (named after you know who), a dog trapped in a cat’s body. Jared is a self-proclaimed "Simpsons geek," which will make him a great fit with the BSD staff.
Jared quickly picked up his father’s passion for the game of football, especially his two favorite teams, Penn State and the Cleveland Browns. Fortunately for us, his dad’s admiration of Joseph Vincent Paterno likely saved Jared from being a Buckeyes fan. Jared grew up in Warren, Ohio, a football-crazed, blue-collar rustbelt town straight out of Friday Night Lights. He played football at Howland High School, also attended by former Penn State safety Tony Davis and incoming freshman Anthony Stanko. He grew up in the same area as other notable players such as Daryll Clark, Brandon Beachum and Michael Zordich. His football career was cut short after a serious knee injury.
Jared made his first trip to Beaver Stadium for the 1997 Ohio State game, which Penn State won 31-27 in thrilling fashion with the help of the monster ground game of Curtis Enis and Aaron Harris. This experience of being surrounded by 100,000-plus propelled his Penn State fandom into a completely new level. He has traveled to Penn State for several games each year and is glued to the television every Saturday of the season. Jared has made a habit out of somehow being present at Beaver Stadium for milestone moments, including LJ reaching 2,000 yards against Michigan State, JoePa’s 400th and 409th victories, the Big Ten championship-clinching game against Sparty in 2008, and his personal favorite, the 2005 "whiteout" game against Ohio State.
Welcome to the chaos, Jared.
Former BSD handle: "kmplatt"
We would also like to welcome Keith Platt to our staff as one of our new recruiting analysts/reporters. Keith’s duties, primarily, will be to focus on players that Coach O’Brien and the rest of PSU’s coaching staff are recruiting. We’re very excited to have Keith as part of our team and would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little more about him.
Keith is originally from Philadelphia and is a graduate of Stockton College and Widener University Law School. He currently resides in New Jersey and where he practices civil litigation. Although, he did not attend Penn State, Keith is an avid Nittany Lion Football fan and has been since the Lions won their first National Championship under Joe Paterno. Well versed in what "Success With Honor" means to Penn State, his analysis will be focused both on the athletic and academic prowess of those who may have the honor of wearing the Blue and White.
Keith has been a member of our BSD community since November, 2011 and has provided great insight into "It." Keith has also provided thoughtful commentary on the coaching search and the resumes of those who were rumored to be candidates. Lastly, his open letter to Coach O’Brien was well written and very respectful. Based upon his past submissions to our forums, we know that Keith will be a valuable member to our team.
Please join us in welcoming both Jared and Keith to our team.