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National Signing Day 2017: Welcome to Penn State, C.J. Thorpe

The Nittany Lions add an aggressive interior lineman to their burgeoning offense

Photo courtesy of 247sports

The culmination of the recruiting season is just around the corner, as National Signing Day 2017 is only days away. Here at Black Shoe Diaries, we’ll have coverage of Penn State’s recruiting class, taking a player-by-player look at each member of the class, and taking a bigger picture look at the class as a whole. Thanks for stopping by, and if you aren’t already following, please follow @BSDTweet on Twitter for more recruiting news and notes.

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C.J. Thorpe hails from the WPIAL, attending powerhouse Central Catholic High School. A legacy recruit, C.J. committed to the Lions in the spring of 2016. Thorpe sports an impressive offer sheet, including Wisconsin, UCLA, Alabama, Tennessee, Stanford, Georgia, Michigan, and Pitt, among others.


Position High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank Positional Rank
Position High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank Positional Rank
Offensive Guard Pittsburgh, PA (Central Catholic) 6-foot-3, 318 pounds Four-star (0.9571) No. 87 overall, No. 6 offensive guard, No. 4 player in PA


Scouting Report

C.J. was high on the Lions for a long time before committing in April 2016, but did briefly flirt with some southern schools. UCLA also made a late push, but lead recruiters Terry Smith and Matt Limegrover were able to reel in the big lineman.

Standing 6’3” and weighing in at 318 pounds, Thorpe is already big enough to play college football, and projects as a true offensive guard. As is the case with many big linemen, his technique needs to be refined, but Coach Limegrover has to be salivating at the opportunity to mold C.J.


While the offensive line continues to rebuild, there is finally some quality depth across the board. In the interior, Ryan Bates and Connor McGovern have two spots tied down as returning starters. With the departure of Brian Gaia, one opening is currently available.

Ahead of C.J. on the depth chart sit Steven Gonzalez and Michal Menet, not to mention Chasz Wright, who could slide back inside if some of the other injured tackles return. While Thorpe will push for playing time early on, the coaching staff will look to keep his redshirt on, as part of an increasingly formidable rotation of interior linemen.