Penn State unveils All-American laden recruiting class

Photo courtesy of Penn State athletics

Multiple high school All-Americans will join the most historically successful program in the EIVA.

Penn State announced earlier this week announced its seven-player incoming recruiting class that includes All-American selections Jack Driscoll, Gabe Hartke and Jack Shampine.

“This incoming class is a very athletic group and we believe their best volleyball is still ahead of them,” coach Mark Pavlik said in a statement. “Their physicality should play very well for us going forward. Not only are we really excited about the talented players that they are, we’re also proud of the great young men they are and the great families they come from.”

Driscoll, a setter and opposite from Lake Ronkokoma, New York, earned AVCA First-Team All-American honors earlier this year after setting his high school’s single-season record with 368 kills during his senior season. The two-time team captain also was named to the New York All-State Team and was the Long Island Suffolk County Player of the Year.


Harke, a Second-Team All-American outside attacker from Barrington, Illinois, concluded his senior season earning all-state and conference co-player of the year honors. In addition, Harke was a three-time team captain who led his high school team to four consecutive regional championships.

Shampine, an outside attacker from Glenview, Illinois, was named a Second-Team All-American in his senior season. He also was named the conference player of the year to cap off a high school career that featured him playing multiple positions — opposite, outside attacker and middle attacker.

Along with these players, recent high school graduates Tim Herget, Jack Howard, John Kerr and Andrew Watts all committed to play for the Nittany Lions beginning in 2020.

Herget, an outside attacker from Darien, Connecticut, returns to the court after completing a two-year church mission trip in Chile. While in high school, Herget led his team to back-to-back state championships and was the Hearst Connecticut Media Group Boys’ Volleyball MVP in 2016 and 2017.

Howard, an outside attacker from Northbrook, Illinois, has spent the last three years as a member of the USA Volleyball A1 Training Team. He also finished his high school career in the state’s top 15 all-time with 1,154 career kills and won the 2019 22nd Century Media Player of the Year.

Kerr, an outside attacker from Derry, Pennsylvia, was a two-time All-WPIAL selection and ended his high school career with more than 1,000 kills and 100 blocks. He also was a two-sport athlete and set his high school’s career record in boys’ basketball with 204 blocks.

Watts, a middle attacker from Northport, New York, was a member of the USA Volleyball A1 Training Team in 2017 and the last two years participated in the USA Volleyball Boys’ Youth Holiday Training Program. In addition, Watts as a senior was named the Newsday All-Long Island Team and made the all-county team for the second straight year.

Penn State ended last season in second place in the EIVA and advanced to the EIVA Tournament finals. The Nittany Lions return multiple All-EIVA starters for the upcoming season, including outside attacker Brett Wildman who spent the offseason playing with the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team.