Gordinier Ventures Beyond Garden State

The LB/DE was on hand for the Penn State-Illinois game Saturday. How did his trip to Happy Valley go?

Jamie Gordinier called an audible last week, a few days after his coach did the same.

The Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic Class of 2015 LB/DE was planning to visit nearby Rutgers last Saturday.

Then, he learned Caseys' coach Jim Portela was giving the team off Saturday, meaning more options were on the table. Meaning he could visit Penn State.

And that's exactly what the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder did, taking in the Lions' 24-17 overtime victory over Illinois.

"It was great. I got to talk to [Penn State linebacker coach Ron] Vanderlinden, and meet with [defensive coordinator John] Butler," Gordiner said. "I talked to him in private, and then went down to meet [head coach Bill] O'Brien.

"They said they think its great how I can play almost anywhere on defense; inside linebacker, outside linebacker, or put my hand in the ground. I'm versatile."

Being primarily recruited as a defensive end despite playing mostly as an outside linebacker for Red Bank, Gordinier said Penn State is one of the programs that is recruiting him as a linebacker. The junior has 53 tackles, including five for loss, and was also credited with a sack and a half through seven games.

He was a visitor to University Park last June for an Advanced Skill Camp hosted by the Lions, but didn't participate due to what he coined a minor knee injury. But he did communicate with Vanderlinden.

"I got to hang out with him the whole day, and I got to talk with him a lot even though I couldn't participate," Gordinier said of his chat with Vanderlinden. "When I first got there, he told me that he really likes my physicality and athleticism, and that they wanted to see me more in pass coverage.

"So in my mid-season highlight tape [this fall] I put in a lot of pass coverage plays."


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