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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Lions spotlight: Parker Cothren

By Josh Moyer

Every weekday until signing day, NittanyNation will break down a commitment from Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Defensive tackle Parker Cothren, Hazel Green, Ala./Hazel Green, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds

Committed: Nov. 20, 2012

ESPN.com grade: 69. Two-star prospect.

ESPN.com rankings: No. 121 at position. No. 643 in region, No. 45 in state.

Picked Penn State over: North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee and others.

State of the position: DaQuan Jones is the top player here, but it gets a little uncertain after that. Kyle Baublitz and Austin Johnson will likely battle for the other starting spot, with Derek Dowrey and Brian Gaia competing for situational playing time.

Pros: "Demonstrates that he can engage blockers and maintain a good 'football position' and hold his ground. ... Will pursue to the ball and can take solid angles in pursuit though he can be sharper at times. Displays adequate range and reactive athleticism." -- ESPN scouting report

Cons: "A bit of an arm-tackler who can overrun the play at times and struggle to recover and be forced to reach. Can tend to leave his feet and you would like to see him run through the tackle more consistently. As a pass-rusher lacks the initial burst to get up-field and win with speed and can at times attack the whole man and get caught up at the line ..." -- ESPN scouting report

Similar to/potential role: Like Gaia, Cothren will redshirt this season and must focus on adding more bulk. It's unlikely he'll see any playing time.

Expected impact: 2015. Cothren won't have it easy. For nearly his entire career, he'll have to compete with three players who are just one year his senior. His redshirt sophomore season is the first time he'll get a clear shot at a backup spot, but he'll have to fight to see considerable playing time.