Our next Class of 2012 member was the fourth commitment for the Nittany Lions in the last recruiting class. Derek Dowrey, coming in at 6-3, 280 pounds, was invited to attend a Rising Senior Camp at Penn State last June, and must have been quite impressive. A day before the event, Dowrey had a scholarship offer from just one BCS school (West Virginia), but a day after the event, the Virginia native walked away a committed Nittany Lion.
At the time, there was little known about Dowrey, though his stats from his junior year were quite impressive.
"I was first-team all region on both sides of the ball, playing defensive tackle and offensive guard," said Dowrey on Thursday night. "I felt it was a pretty good season."
The junior racked up 145 tackles primarily playing nose guard, and 40 of those stops were recorded for a loss. He also had 10.5 sacks to go along with four forced and recovered fumbles over the 14-game season.
There (still) is no film on Dowrey, so it's tough to make any real assessment of his play, unless you've seen him in person. When the offer and commitment happened, many recruiting followers were baffled at the timing; Dowrey was a two-star prospect with a small offer sheet that many were unfamiliar with. I'll admit to being one of those people.
Dowrey cited the previous coaching staff as one of the main reasons he committed to Penn State, so many wondered whether he'd stick with the Lions after the scandal broke in November. And in what appears to be an enigmatic side to the young man, there is little in the way of reaction after the scandal. In fact, if you do a Google News search for Derek Dowrey, there isn't much of anything.
There are just so many questions surrounding the John Handley High School product: Will this man stay at DT, or move to the interior OL? Who does his hair? And most importantly, does he think that Ace Bernstein will seriously be able to stay behind the perfectly cast Dennis Farina for long?