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Friday, June 21, 2013
5 Questions: DT Parker Cothren

By Josh Moyer

Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.

This week's subject is incoming freshman DT Parker Cothren, who'll arrive on campus today. He'll be driving from Hazel Green, Ala., and he remained committed to PSU despite late offers from the likes of Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He'll be roommates with defensive end Garrett Sickels.

NittanyNation: You stuck with PSU despite some late SEC offers that were closer to home. What's it feel like now, basically being hours away from moving in, and why was PSU right for you?

Parker Cothren: I mean, it's a little scary feeling knowing that I'm going to be so far from home. But I'm excited to go there. I'm real excited.

I love the coaches, and I liked the players. I just felt like this is a place I could really do well at. I remember when Coach [Larry] Johnson came to my home and was telling me all the plans he had for me. He gave me a little handout booklet, saying what I'd do with my career. That really made me want to come here. Really.

NN: I remember you talking about that booklet before because they gave a similar one to Jordan Hill when he was a recruit. He fulfilled all his goals. What were some of the goals inside for you? And what's your personal goal this first season?

PC: Uh, I haven't looked at it in awhile. But I think, first year, it was kind of learning the ropes and getting some playing time and stuff like that. And then the second year was like to be a starter, third year was the same thing and fourth year was get All-Big Ten and then go to the NFL draft.

... This first year? I'm trying to play. I'm going to work as hard as I can to try to get in that rotation. I have high expectations, but that's what I want to do. I want to be able to play.

NN: You were a little light for a defensive tackle, but you added quite a bit of weight this offseason. What are you up to now, and how'd you get there?

PC: Well, I weighed myself today with no shoes on, and I was 281. So I put on about 20 pounds. I was actually down to around 250-something during basketball because all that running made me shed a few pounds.

So what really happened was after basketball season, I did the whole Penn State workout. I went through three phases of it, and that's when I gained all that weight and got stronger. And, for the last month, I've been with a guy I've been training with, and he's really helped with my flexibility. I feel a lot better now.

NN: I asked some of the 2014 commits this and I got a few interesting answers, so let me pose this question to you: If you were able to play any other position, what one would you pick?

PC: Hmmm. Well in high school, the funnest thing to me was when they put me in at fullback and we had a package where we put our outside linebacker in the backfield, too. They'd let me go back there and lead-block, and I really enjoyed hitting people at full-speed.

NN: What do you think is going to be the biggest adjustment for you at Penn State, be it in football or just college life in general?

PC: Probably just not being around my family because I have a big family with two brothers and a sister, and I see almost all of them every day. So not being around my family and my friends, that'll be the biggest thing. I mean, with the Internet and stuff, we'll stay in touch. I'll be fine, though. I'm not worried about it or anything. I'm still looking forward to it.