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Reich opts for Edinboro

Slippery Rock lineman chooses football over wrestling
Slippery Rock High School senior Braiden Reich is all smiles after signing a letter of intent to play football at Edinboro University. He is joined by parents Jessalynn and Joe Reich. John Enrietto/Butler Eagle

SLIPPERY ROCK — His wrestling career is blossoming. But it’s Braiden Reich’s football career that will be continuing.

The Slippery Rock High School senior defensive lineman will continue his academic and football career at Edinboro University. He signed a letter of intent with the Fighting Scots last week.

The 6-foot-0, 225-pound Reich was recruited as an edge rusher. Tony Papley, Edinboro’s defensive coordinator, is a Slippery Rock High School graduate.

“I just felt comfortable when I visited up there,” Reich said. “It’s not far from home and the alumni are very proud of the program. They made me feel welcome, made me want to be a part of things.”

Reich considered Slippery Rock University, Lock Haven and Wheeling Jesuit before deciding on Edinboro. He plans to major in physical education.

A standout wrestler at 215 pounds for the Rockets, Reich recently placed fourth in that weight class at Grove City’s prestigious Fred Bell Tournament. He is 24-6 this season with 17 wins coming via pin.

“I thought about wrestling in college and had a couple of opportunities there,” Reich said. “But I’ve only been wrestling since junior high. I’ve been playing football my whole life and I want to see what I can do at the next level.

“I like the direction Edinboro football is headed in. My goal is to be contributing when that team turns the corner in the PSAC West.”

The Fighting Scots were 5-6 under second-year head coach Jake Nulph in 2022. Nulph is 9-12 over two seasons. Edinboro has signed 38 recruits this month, including standout Union/A-C Valley defensive tackle Landon Chalmers.

Reich had 16 solo tackles and 31 overall stops for Slippery Rock his senior season.

“He’s a strong kid and very athletic,” Slippery Rock coach Larry Wendereusz said. “His freshman year, he was a wide receiver for us. He can be an effective player on the defensive side of the ball for Edinboro.

“Where he winds up playing in their scheme will depend on how his body grows and develops while he’s there. I can see him playing linebacker or as an edge rusher. I know he’s very quick off the ball.”

Wendereusz added that Reich “has been pretty committed to the weight room over the past two years.”

Reich said he’s looking forward to staying up north to play football.

“I love the snow. I love the cold. It’s just football,” he said.

His favorite high school football memory was being named Player of the Game against Hickory, when he collected three tackles for loss and had a pair of strip sacks. He also served as a Rocket team captain last season.

“I love making an impact,” he said. “I’m looking forward to hitting the weight room and proving myself up there. All I want to do is help the team win.”

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