Penn State Football Class of 2013: the early enrollees, the Signing Day commits, and the names that Steve and Jack will be calling for years to come.
Alabama defensive lineman Parker Cothren first came on my radar last July, when he committed to the Purdue Boilermakers after an unofficial visit to West Lafayette; at the time, Cothren was fielding some offers from low to mid-level Division I schools, like Troy and Tulane.
Then the Nittany Lions came calling.
Cothren finally took an official visit to Purdue the first week in November--exactly one week before he got his Penn State offer. One week later was the official visit to State College, and, within days, his decommitment from the Boilermakers and his commitment to PSU. All throughout this timeline, Cothren's stock was slowly rising, and with every evaluation from scouting services, his grades went up.
After being named first team all-state, in early 2013, the other big offers started rolling in: UNC, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, even hometown Auburn. All throughout, Cothren remained committed to the Nittany Lions.
He stuck through with his commitment to PSU even when being hardcore wooed by some decent programs in the days leading up to signing day, and, as Cothren was one many feared would decommit with Ted Roof's departure, we can credit Larry Johnson--and his history of churning out NFL-caliber lineman--for keeping Cothren in the fold.
At 6'5" and 265 pounds already, Cothren should have the bulk to start challenging for playing time already--if he doesn't redshirt. He projects to the interior of the line, but might just see time at all line positions throughout his career in the blue and white.
It should be pretty exciting for fans of LJ, to see what he can do with Cothren, and what Fitz can do once Cothren gets to State College full time.
Welcome to Penn State, Parker.
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