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Penn State Football: Cothran Ready For His Biggest Role Yet

by on August 30, 2017 2:00 PM

Some football players look the part of the elder statesmen. Curtis Cothran is one of those players.

Top to bottom he has filled out. Freshmen and sophomores often look like there is just a bit of high school left in them. Their legs are still a little skinny, upper bodies still filling out, there is something that needs improving.

But Cothran has been around that block before, a graduate senior, he's just maintaining at point, waiting for his number to be called so he can finally get out on the field and show his worth.

And that time is now.

For Cothran he will join a growing list of defensive linemen at Penn State hoping to make a big impact their final season in Happy Valley. Most recently it was defensive end Evan Schwan who had to wait his entire career before starting his senior season. The results spoke for themselves, an NFL career and a solid Big Ten campaign.

Cothran is hoping to do the same, except a bit farther inside at defensive tackle. But judging by the smile on his face as he spoke to reporters earlier this week, he'd play anywhere on the field.

"First of all, it's definitely a blessing," Cothran said. "Obviously I've grinded out a lot of years here. I mean, obviously you always want to be the starter in your mind. So I mean, to finally be able to say that I am one, it's definitely a blessing. And it definitely just shows the amount of work that goes into it. I mean, nothing's ever easy, especially in college football. Through the years of grinding everything out, I'm thankful to be here."

Technically though this won't be Cothran's first time with the starting job. In 2016 he started in eight games, his first against Ohio State in the Nittany Lions' upset victory. So it isn't really his first time taking the field, but it's the first time he'll take it with the job his and his alone.

Of course, so many months removed from the Rose Bowl, Cothran is just another Nittany Lion looking forward to hitting someone not wearing blue and white.

"You can see me right now; I'm grinning ear to ear right now," he added. "It's definitely nice to be able to face an opponent finally. We've been beating each other up for the last couple weeks, so it's definitely fun to put on the pads and show our skills in front of 107,000."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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