Alabama prep lineman Parker Cothren will be playing his college football in the Big Ten, but it won't be at Purdue, as originally planned.
Cothren, the 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive tackle/defensive end from Hazel Green High School, switched his verbal commitment from the Boilermakers to Penn State following a visit to University Park for the Nittany Lions' game against Indiana last Saturday, ESPN reported late Tuesday.
Cothren's decision was speculated after he had a good visit, then word broke via social media that Oklahoma defensive tackle Zach Webb was cancelling his trip to this week's Penn State home game against Wisconsin because he had been told the Nittany Lions had gotten a commitment from another defensive tackle. Cothren is the 13th recruit for Penn State in the 2013 recruiting class and the third defensive lineman, joining New Jersey prep All-American Garrett Sickels and Philadelphia suburban star Curtis Cothran.
The Lions also were recruiting Alabama defensive tackle Rod Crayton; there was no immediate word whether or not Crayton was still on their radar, because NCAA sanctions have limited Penn State to 15 scholarships in 2013. However, it appears Penn State could bring in close to 20 recruits if they can get enough of them to enroll in January to count against the 2012's class numbers - so far, three of the Lions' current recruits are planning to enroll early.
Purdue and Penn State were Cothren's biggest offers at the time he committed to Penn State. A person identifying himself as a relative of Cothren's wrote on an Internet message board that North Carolina has since offered, as well.
Cothren has helped his high school, a 6A program which hadn't had a winning record since 2004, to back-to-back seven-win campaigns, making 70 tackles as a junior. He was named to the Huntsville Times Elite Team as a junior, has been named all-region as a junior and a sophomore and also started for the Trojans state runner-up basketball team.