JoePa Will Visit LB on Monday

Penn State desperately needs to recruit top LBs this season. JoePa is now going after this one hard.

Name: Randolph "Channing" Crowder
Position: LB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 225 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.6
School: North Springs High School, Sandy Springs, Georgia

Channing knows where he will be taking all 5 of his official visits.

"I'm going to NC State on December 7-9, to South Carolina on December 14-15, to Georgia Tech on January 4-6, to Georgia on January 11-13, and probably the next weekend, January 18-20, to Penn State.  All those teams have offered."

Channing Crowder is the son of Randy Crowder, who was an All-American DT for Penn State in the early 70's and played 8 years in the NFL.

When LionNews last talked to Channing in October, he indicated that he grew up a huge fan of Penn State, but when the Nittany Lions stopped sending him mail, he began to lose interest in them.

Fortunately, things seem to be changing for the LB that guru Jamie Newberg considers to be one of the most underrated LBs in the south.

"Joe Paterno called about 2 weeks ago.  I told you I loved Penn State until about 8th or 9th grade.  I still really liked them, but they hadn't talked to me for a while, so I started looking at other schools.  They had been sending me stuff, but they slowed down for a while.  Actually, they didn't send anything for a while, then they just came on.  Joe Paterno called me and talked to me for a while."

Channing will be receiving an in-house visit from Coach Paterno on Monday.

"He's coming over here in early December, on December 3.

"He coached my father and coached with my father.  He kind of knows the family.  He said that they didn't want me to think they were talking to me just because of my father and that they didn't have much tape up there on me.  He said they just got tape so that they could evaluate me and that they really liked me.  He offered me a scholarship.  That was the first time I talked to anyone from Penn State.

"Right now it's wide open, so they call me every day.  Kenny Carter is my recruiting coach.  He's called me about 4 times since then.  He called twice on Tuesday, and he called today (Wednesday) and Monday.

"He just talks to me and tells me all kinds of stuff because I don't really have any stuff on them.  All the other schools were sending me mail, so I know the statistics and all the facts about the schools.

"He calls to see how I'm doing, basically just checking in.  They're just catching up on a lot of stuff.

"They told me they weren't really going to get on me until they were ready to offer.  Their way is to not really contact a person until they're ready to offer them.

"My coach is one of those coaches that doesn't really tell you anything unless it's big.  But they asked him for tape, and he said he sent it to them about 3 weeks ago.  They said the first day they got it, they looked at about half a quarter and they said 'offer him'.

Penn State is in the mix now, although they have no distinct advantage.

"Now, it's wide open.  I like Georgia, they're top 3.  I love Georgia and I love Georgia Tech.  NC State is like a sleeper.  People don't think about them, but it's real nice up there."

He's already unofficially visited Georgia, Georgia Tech, NC State and South Carolina.

Channing claims to have no leader at this point, although he seems to like the Georgia schools a lot.

"Georgia is high, I don't really know the exact order."

Is he disenchanted with Penn State because of their lack of interest this summer?

"I'm not mad at them for any reason.  They're on the same level as everyone else.  It kind of went from me wanting to sign early [with Penn State] to just changing my mind and seeing other schools.  And now, they're in there with everybody else.  It's real even, with nobody ahead."

His father is not pushing Channing in any particular direction.

"He said whatever fits me.  Penn State was the school for him, but we're different people.  He's wide open too."

Channing has been following Penn State to some degree.

"I've seen them.  I watched a couple of games.  The Miami game was a beating, so they cut it off.  I watch as much football as I can."

Like most recruits, Channing would like to play early.

"At least by my 2nd year.  All I need is the opportunity to play.  I believe talent will take me the rest of the way, talent, studying and learning playbooks."

Channing is very educated as to which schools need linebackers.

"Numbers-wise, Georgia needs linebackers.  Georgia Tech is okay numbers-wise, but really they've done a bad job recruiting.  They have a lot of LBs that aren't stepping up like they thought they would.  As for South Carolina, just numbers like Georgia.  NC State just needs them period.  Penn State needs them period.  That's why they (Penn State) had problems in the beginning of the year.  Walk-ons are starting."

Coach Carter is not the only one calling Channing often.

"Starting this past Sunday, schools can call as much as they want until December 15.

"Georgia Tech's called me everyday since too, Georgia's been calling, South Carolina calls everyday.  Coach Green (defensive coordinator) from NC State is coming to my house tomorrow."

Channing has been to Happy Valley before.

"I'll take a visit up there and see if I like it up there.  I've been there a couple of times.

"I was born on the campus.  My dad played there for 4 years, he was in the NFL 8 years, and then coached at Penn State for 2 years.  I was born while he was coaching in 1983.  He was a defensive line coach, defensive tackles.

"Joe Paterno talks to him sometimes.  He also kept in touch with Kenny Jackson (ex-receivers coach at Penn State now with the Pittsburgh Steelers).

"But Don Ferrell, he's the academic advisor for Penn State.  I call him Uncle Don.  Me and him are cool.  I went up there after 9th grade for a camp and stayed over there for a couple of days."

Channing's criteria for a prospective college seem to fit Penn State well.

"I'm looking for the opportunity to play, to feel comfortable with the surroundings, and a stable coaching atmosphere.  Academics are big because I want to be a vet."

October 4 LionNews article on Channing Crowder

Photo courtesy of Student Sports (

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