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May 8, 2014

Coaches check on OL Southers

Penn State's offensive line class is beginning to fill up, but there is still room for at least one more prospect in 2015.

With three O-linemen already committed, the Nittany Lions have outstanding offers to Austin Clark, Grant Newsome, and Matthew Burrell Jr.. They sit pretty well with each in that four-star trio, so it's likely one of them will commit and fill PSU's fourth and what could be its final offensive line scholarship.

But that doesn't mean the coaching staff has stopped its perusal of other O-line prospects. Offensive assistants Ricky Rahne and Herb Hand both stopped by Seton Hall Prep in West Orange (N.J.) this week to check on two-star offensive tackle Jared Southers. While they have yet to extend an offer, they have a close eye on the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder, as Rahne visited Monday and Hand followed up with a visit Tuesday.

"They were both very, very interested in me," Southers said. "They said that an offensive lineman [Sterling Jenkins] just committed, but they're definitely looking to add one more. So they'd love to have me at the camp [this summer] and we'll see how it goes from there."

Southers has yet to schedule a visit to Penn State's camp, but if a scholarship is still available come June, he'll likely make the trip.

"I am very interested in Penn State," Southers said. "That's a team that I've been watching since I was a little kid, so I'll definitely try my best to make it up to that camp and hopefully they'll offer me. Then I'll be able to weigh my options."

Southers places Penn State among his top four schools, along with Stanford, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech.

Southers has yet to earn a scholarship offer from those four schools, but he's already scheduled to camp at each one this summer, besides, of course, PSU. And he has aspirations of earning an offer while in attendance.

Despite not having offers from those four yet, they made his list because, Southers said, "Academics are very important to me. They're definitely going to play a big role in my decision."

Southers currently holds scholarship offers from Fordham, Monmouth, Rutgers, Temple and Yale, which was the most recent to come through. But more could be on the way.

In addition to Penn State, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Maryland, West Virginia, UCF, Harvard, Temple and Tulane also paid visits to Southers' school this week.

"Some of those schools are very close to offering," Southers said. "I know Tulane should be offering me any day now and a few other schools. Some schools want me to come to their camp, but all the schools have been very impressed with my physical size, my grades and everything like that."

Southers would like to make a couple unofficial visits before hitting the camp circuit this summer, although he has yet to schedule any visits.

"I'm going try to make my way down to Virginia and Maryland and also try to make it out to Penn State before the camps start," he said.

Southers was honored with offensive line MVP honors at the Rivals Camp Series in New Jersey April 12.



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