Parker Cothren comes to Penn State from Hazel Green, Alabama. This is only noteworthy because of the near total lack of players from south of the Mason-Dixon line in recent history. Bill O’Brien has made no bones about placing significant emphasis on recruiting the talent rich area, and saw immediate dividends in the 2013 class.
Parker has originally committed to Purdue nearly a year ago, and remained with the Boilermakers until a November visit to Penn State resulted in an offer. Within 4 days, he was a Nittany Lion. Despite a late push by more local programs such as Auburn, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee, he signed his letter of intent and joined Penn State in June for the second summer session.
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact Cothren can make as a true freshman. The last depth chart released in June goes 3 deep at at both tackle spots, and a redshirt would seem a possible outcome on the surface. However, Larry Johnson has never been shy about playing his best players, regardless of class, and if Cothren can show the ability in fall camp, he may get a shot in 2013. However, his 6’5″, 265 lbs. frame may benefit from a year with Coach Fitzgerald before he is truly ready to face Big 10 offensive lines. Regardless of whether it’s 2013, or 2014, I expect Cothren to have a solid Penn State career.
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