|Name:||Randolph "Channing" Crowder|
|School:||North Springs High School, Sandy Springs, Georgia|
"It was good," Channing said. "Joe couldn't make it though. At first they said he was going to come, but then he called Sunday and said he wasn't going to be able to make it."
Coach Kenny Carter is recruiting Channing. He visited the Crowder's home on Monday.
"My mom and I visited with Coach Kenny Carter. He was here for a little more than 2 hours. He's a nice guy. I also talked to him when he came to the school. I felt comfortable with him. They were real iffy about whether or not I was serious about Penn State. I think I showed them during the in-house visit that I was serious.
"He was just telling me how Penn State could help me, and to come up and take a look to see if I like it.
"I'm going to take an official visit to Penn State January 18 through 20. I have all 5 officials set now."
Channing will also be taking official visits to NC State on December 7-9, to South Carolina on December 14-15, to Georgia Tech on January 4-6, and to Georgia on January 11-13. All those teams have offered.
"I got a written offer from Penn State about a week ago.
"Now, it's down to the 5 teams, and the visits will decide things. I've looked at the academic part of it already. Opportunity to play was a big part. After talking with those teams, I feel confident that I'll have that. Now, it's just a matter of where I feel comfortable with the players, the coaches and the surroundings."
Channing knows that Penn State is in need of top linebacker prospects.
"Brandon Short and Lavar Arrington are supposed to be seniors this year. So, they said it was hard to recruit linebackers because they would think to themselves 'I'm going to go to Penn State and be behind All-American Lavar Arrington and All-American Brandon Short, I don't think so'. So, they were having problems. Both of them left their junior year, so now they had a walk-on starting and a walk-on backup. One of their other linebackers, Garcia, had shoulder problems. They said they're real thin at linebacker, so they'd like somebody to come in and play early."
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. Randy also coached at Penn State in the early 80's for 2 years.
Channing grew up a huge fan of Penn State, but when the Nittany Lions stopped sending him mail this summer, he began to lose interest in them. Coach Carter explained to Channing during the visit that that was just an oversight.
"Coach Carter said that he probably dropped the ball. He thought we were getting the media guides and all that stuff. He saw the media guides that I have stacked up by my TV and noticed that I didn't have one from Penn State. That's when he asked my mom if we had received one, and she told him that we haven't been getting mail [from Penn State]. He was surprised, but he said he could see how it happened because it was his first year and he didn't know how the system worked."
Penn State seems to be back in the hunt.
"Now, all 5 schools have an even shot."
Does he have a particular favorite at this time?
"Oh no sir."
He went on to explain how writers for particular sites seem to make it sound like he likes their school more than the others.
"The Penn State visit is going to be the biggest deciding factor for Penn State."
He grew up a big Penn State fan, and has a ton of T-shirts.
"I counted them the other day, but I forgot how many I have. There's a bunch of them."
Channing admitted that if Penn State had gone after him hard earlier, he probably wouldn't have even looked at other schools.
"They call my dad a lot, trying to get all the advantage they can. My dad told them that [I probably would've committed early to Penn State] too. I think Joe's a little mad [that I didn't get mail for a while]."
Photo courtesy of Student Sports (http://studentsports.theinsiders.com/)