Safety Troy Apke was part of James Franklin’s first class in 2014, recruited from Mt. Lebanon High where he was a three-sport athlete in football (wide receiver and safety), basketball and track and field. Apke was the 100-meter WPIAL Champion in 2014, and during his junior and senior football seasons, Apke had 1,776 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns and 68 tackles with 3 interceptions on defense.
Originally recruited as a wide receiver for Penn State, Apke switched to the secondary and started his true freshman year on special teams in six games.
As a sophomore, Apke appeared in 13 games with strong performances in his first start against Army (5 tackles) and against Michigan State (5 tackles). Apke ended 2015 with 26 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass deflection.
Apke only got better in 2016, with 28 tackles for the season, including a career-high 6 tackles and 1 pass deflection in the win over Minnesota.
In his 2017 senior season, Apke was the starting safety, and racked up 55 tackles (8 against Ohio State and 8 against Michigan State), 3 TFLs, 1 interception and 5 passes defended, earning him honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from the media. He was also named the MVP in the 2018 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl after nailing a team-high seven tackles, a forced fumble and a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown.
No surprise to Nittany Lions fans, Apke’s talent shone through in his stellar performance at the NFL Combine with a 4.34 40-yard dash, and a 41” vertical jump, which helped him land a spot with the Washington Redskins in the 4th round.