In the Pittsburgh area, many people grow up despising Penn State.
There area features plenty of Pitt and West Virginia fans who just plain don’t like PSU.
But Matt Sieg isn’t one of those people.
Sieg’s father, Jeff, is an assistant coach for Fort Cherry High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania, where Matt, just a sophomore, is a star quarterback and safety. Growing up, Jeff Sieg could see Beaver Stadium from his house. So, yeah, he was a Penn State guy. His son is as well.
“It’s rubbed off on me,” Matt Sieg told Nittany Sports Now after Fort Cherry improved to 8-0 Friday night.
It was only a matter of time before Division I schools started offering Sieg.
He starred for Fort Cherry as a freshman last season and kept that up through the first month of Year 2.
Finally, on the last day of September, Sieg got his first Division I offer, and it was from the school he grew up cheering for. It was a Saturday, and Sieg had just gotten home from watching film from the previous night’s game with his coaches and teammates. Hours before Penn State took on Iowa and its White Out game and weeks after Sieg went to Beaver Stadium for Penn State’s season-opening win over West Virginia, he got a call. The call was from Penn State’s associate head coach, Terry Smith, who has a big presence in Western PA due to his success playing at coaching at Monroeville’s Gateway High School. Smith offered Sieg, and Sieg was at a loss for words.
“I was just speechless, really,” he said. “It was crazy. I was so happy. Hugged my dad. It was a moment I’ll never forget.”
After a great conversation with @CoachTerryPSU @coachjfranklin I am excited to say I have received my first D1 offer from PENN STATE UNIVERSITY ⚪️🔵 #WeAre @FortCherryFB @TannerGarry3 @210ths pic.twitter.com/ecbYtAFyEV
— Matt Sieg (@matt_sieg) September 23, 2023
For Sieg, Smith’s presence on Penn State’s coaching staff is “huge.”
“He’s come to school a few times,” Sieg said, “and he’s just really a likable guy. He’ll talk to you about anything, he’ll tell you what you need to hear, and I mean, the love is real. It truly is.”
Sieg’s also a fan of the head honcho, James Franklin, who he’s interacted with in person and on the phone.
“I like him, too,” Sieg said. “He’s obviously a great coach, and he has the program, what are they, sixth in the nation right now? I mean, that’s great.”
Penn State was No. 6 when it talked to Sieg and is now No. 7 in the AP Poll.
Sieg grew up watching PSU stars such as Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley. This season, he got to watch the debut of budding star, Drew Allar, from the sideline. He described his PSU-WVU experience as “one of a kind.”
“It was so loud,” Sieg said. “I’ve never expereinced it like that before. It was great.”
Since getting offered by Penn State, Sieg has also been offered by Nebraska, Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia. Sieg has plenty of time to get better before playing college, and has time to get bigger, too. He wants to work on building his 6-foot, 170-pound frame. There’s also plenty of time before Sieg finds out what position he’ll play in college, but he’s ok with whatever his future coaching staff decides.
In fact, he lists himself as an athlete in his Twitter, showing his versatility.
“I’ll play wherever,” Sieg said.
Regardless of whether Sieg is playing quarterback or defensive back, he describes himself as a team player, above all else.
“I love my brothers out here,” he said. “None of the success I have can happen without them. I mean, it’s as simple as that.”