Lions spotlight: Curtis Cothran

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

Vitals: Defensive end Curtis Cothran, Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North, 6-foot-5, 240 pounds

Committed: March 26, 2012

ESPN.com grade: 70. Three-star prospect.

ESPN.com rankings: No. 110 at position, No. 204 in region, No. 49 in state.

Picked Penn State over: Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and others.

State of the position: Deion Barnes is top pass-rusher already, and there's some quality depth here with rising redshirt sophomore Anthony Zettel and rising redshirt junior C.J. Olaniyan. Brad Bars will likely see some situational playing time.

Pros: "He can use his reach to reel in ball carriers and displays good hand strength to be able to drag ball carriers down when he can get cloth. Physical kid who displays adequate range and solid ability to get redirected. As a pass rusher he will get his hands up and can knock down some passes ..." -- ESPN scouting report

Cons: "As a D-End he displays adequate first-step quickness and while he can show some flashes he does not display the ability to be a consistent disruptive quick penetrator. He looks to have a nice reach, but needs to learn to use that to more his advantage and do a better job of shooting his hands and creating separation. He displays marginal ability to extend and separate and can allow blockers to get into his frame." -- ESPN scouting report

Similar to/potential role: He's not unlike fellow DE Evan Schwan in that he needs some seasoning here. He has potential, but he still needs polish and is nearly a lock to redshirt. He can use that extra year to add bulk to his frame and focus on some fundamentals.

Expected impact: 2016. Cothran will likely have to wait for Barnes and Zettel to graduate before he really makes an impact, especially considering he'll have to compete with another DE in his recruiting class in Garrett Sickels. Cothran is a bit of a project, but Penn State's hoping for a big payoff.