Good News For PSU Fans?

Joe Cohen put on an impressive performance at the Miami Nike Camp this year earning MVP honors. The 240-pound athlete ran a 4.47 40-yard dash and benched 185 pounds 27 times. Is he reciprocating the Nittany Lions' interest?

Name: Joe Cohen
Position: FB/DE
Height: 6'2 1/2"
Weight: 240 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.47
Bench Press: 27 reps of 185 pounds
School: Palm Bay Senior HS, Melbourne, FL

Joe Cohen saw limited action last season at both the fullback and defensive-end positions due to a knee injury.  He sprained his knee early in the season and missed nearly two months of action.

"All I played was the kickoff classic, which was the first game of the season, then I was out for around 6 games," Joe said.  "I got lucky because we had a bye week during that time and they had to postpone a game too.  I played the last 3 or 4 games of the regular season and then we made it all the way to the final four.  I averaged about 7-8 yards per carry.

"They're talking about a little bit of tailback this year too.  I'd love to play tailback."

Cohen is the consummate power runner.

"I don't have any moves, I'll run you over though.  I don't need any moves sometimes.  When I run the ball, I feel if you're tough enough to hit me, then come on."

Joe is not sure whether he would prefer to play on the offensive or defensive side of the ball in college.

"I'm really waiting until this year to find out what I think I'm good at.  I think I'm rough on the edges right now, so I don't know what I want to play."

It appears as though college coaching staffs are also divided as to which position Cohen will play.

"It seems like the teams up north want me to play offense, in the backfield, and the teams down south want me to play defense.  Schools are recruiting me mainly as an athlete."

The list of schools welcoming the problem of having to decide where to play the star athlete continues to grow as many have offered scholarships.

"It's quite a few.  I have offers from Miami, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Oregon, Clemson, Syracuse, North Carolina State, Penn State, Michigan, South Carolina, Auburn, I think I named most of them.  A lot of those are written offers and some are verbal."

North Carolina has also verbally offered.

Joe is in no hurry to make a decision.

"I just want to do real well this year, I'm not really worried about college yet.  When the 2002 season is over, then I'll focus on college.  I have a lot of work to get done this summer."

He is interested in "pretty much all of those teams that offered me".

"Whoever sat back and took the time to watch film or hear about me, I'm pretty much interested in them too."

Does he envision himself staying in Florida?

"I don't think so, I'm not sure.  I might stay in Florida and I might not.  I really don't care where I go to tell you the truth."

He does know that he would like to attend the same college as teammate Reggie Nelson.

"Yep, that's my buddy.  He should have every school after him.  Myself personally, not just because he's my friend, I've never seen anyone in high school play as good as he has.  He can play pretty much anywhere he wants.  On defense, he can play linebacker, corner, strong safety.  On offense, I've seen him play quarterback before and he can play tailback.  Pound for pound, he's the hardest hitter I've ever seen.

"He plays linebacker in high school.  In college, they said they're going to move him to strong safety."

Cohen said that Nelson has offers from "pretty much from every school that I have an offer from".

"We definitely want to go to the same school.  If everything works out right, we get our tests together and all that, everything done, we want to end up at the same school."

Cohen has been to South Carolina, Miami and Florida (track meet).

According to Joe, Penn State has given him a written scholarship offer.  He stated that the Nittany Lions have offered Reggie Nelson as well.

"Yes sir, they're interested in both of us.  He (Jay Paterno) gave us an offer early.  He visited our school in the spring.

"We sent them a highlight film.  We had it professionally done and we sent a whole bunch of highlight films off to schools that we kind of wanted to go to or heard good stuff about."

What does he like about Penn State?

"I don't know too much about college football.  When I talked to the coaches on the phone, everybody seemed nice up north.  Plus, it's an up north school.  I've never been past South Carolina.  They really seemed like they were really interested in me."

Cohen currently plans to take a visit to Happy Valley.

"I know Penn State's one of my visits.  One of the reasons is that they were one of the first schools that gave me an offer, Penn State and LSU.  LSU gave me the first offer, so I'm going to visit them too."

Nike stats:
Height: 6-2.5
Weight: 238
40-Yard Dash: 4.47
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.31
Vertical Jump: 32.7"
Bench Reps: 27

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