Sorrell's Return Trip to Penn State

After inking with the Nittany Lions in February, the Middletown, Ohio, tackle was back on campus for a spring practice Saturday.

Chance Sorrell was back at Penn State Saturday. The Middletown, Ohio, offensive lineman, who signed with the Nittany Lions in February, views any … well … chance to meet his future coaches and teammates as a good one.

So the 6-foot-6, 277-pounder took the occasion of the weekend to visit campus and take in Coach James Franklin's 11th practice of the spring.

"I think it went really well; we really enjoyed our time there," Sorrell said. "I got another tour of the facilities, and really got to talk to some of the other signees from 2014.

"I'm still getting to know those guys, but I talked to some of the 2015 guys to get to know them, too."

Penn State didn't host as many prospects for practice as it typically has on a spring Saturday. It allowed Sorrell to chat with offensive line coach Herb Hand, receive installation material so he can get a head start on the program's schemes, and focus on recruiting the top prospects on hand.

Saturday, it was a pair of Virginia standouts — offensive tackle Matthew Burrell and defensive tackle Tim Settle — who Sorrell, Class of 2014 quarterback commit Trace McSorley and Class of 2015 safety commit Jarvis Miller set their sights on.

"I just really talked to them about Coach Franklin, and really what direction he's taking the program in," said Sorrell, who originally committed to Franklin when he was at Vanderbilt but flipped to PSU shortly after the coach took the Nittany Lions' job in early January. "I just told them there is no other coach I would rather play for, and this coaching staff is incredible.

"You won't find another one like this one. I visited 30 schools, and no one came close."

As much as Franklin made flipping schools a worthwhile choice for the Ohio native, so did Hand. The offensive line coach's easy-going personality has already won over fans thanks to his social media musings.

Twitter postings didn't win over Sorrell. Instead, it was Hand's attitude and his approach. Both were on display when he explained to the senior not to learn everything that will be thrown at him in camp by the time he officially reports for summer conditioning and classes June 28.

"When I come to campus, he doesn't want me having paralysis by analysis," Sorrell said. "I really understand that. I want to learn as much as I can. If I have to study four or five times a week, that's fine, but I want to come with as much as I can."

Penn State's weight program has already worked wonders for the true tackle, as he reports his weight jumped from 262 at the start of it seven weeks ago to 277 as recently as Saturday. By June, he's hoping to be tipping the scales at 285 or 290.

It's all in an effort to be ready from day one, a desire that is becoming more of a need than expected with each passing day. During an open practice Saturday, Penn State practiced with just 10 total linemen. Of them, just six were on scholarship.

"They just said to keep working hard, and if I have any questions or any installation things, I can go ahead and talk [to Hand]," Sorrell said of the staff's message. "Really, all they said was, ‘When you come in, be ready to compete right away for a position.' "

That's the mentality he's been working with, the tackle said. He added he is looking forward to those battles, and the new family he is going to join, in just a few months.

"I'm real excited, probably to get with the team and learn about all my different teammates and be a part of that family," he said. "A football team is one great, big family, and I'll be playing and spending almost all my time with those guys.

"I really look forward to meeting them and getting to know them."

Sorrell will visit campus again next weekend for the Lions' Blue-White game.


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