Penn State has officially signed four-star offensive lineman CJ Thorpe
The Penn State coaching staff has received another letter of intent in the Lasch Building here on National Signing Day. This one belongs to Pittsburgh native offensive lineman CJ Thorpe. Thorpe, a four-star recruit, checks in as the 87th-best player in the country according to 247 Sports composite rankings.
CJ Thorpe is a legacy recruit for James Franklin. CJ’s father, Chris, played at Penn State in the early 90s. This is a big reason why throughout his recruitment CJ was always viewed as a heavy Penn State lean.
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Other than early enrollee Lamont Wade, CJ Thorpe is highest rated member of Penn State’s highly touted 2017 recruiting class. Thorpe committed to Penn State back on April 16th of 2016. He chose the Nittany Lions over scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, and UCLA, among others.
CJ played in the Under Armor All-American game in January. During his time in Orlando he put on an impressive showing. He was one of the best players in Orlando and this led to him earning a starting role for his team in the game.
While I expect CJ Thorpe to redshirt this fall, I believe he will be a huge impact player for Penn State down the road. He is a tenacious run blocker with one heck of a mean streak. CJ Thorpe does a great job of firing off the ball, and can get to the second level to block linebackers well.
CJ also has good techniques in the blocking game. He plays low, gets underneath defenders, and often times will then overpower them with his strength. And this strength will only improve once he gets in Dwight Galt’s strength and conditioning program.
Thorpe’s pass blocking abilities can still improve. However, this is not to say he struggles in pass protection. He was a good pass blocker in high school. But he still needs to improve on his lateral movement when trying to reach defenders.
At the collegiate level, Thorpe will have the ability to play center or guard. However, he is best suited for guard, and guard is where I expect him to end up long term.
CJ Thorpe is one of my favorite players in Penn State’s 2017 recruiting class. He is an absolute mauler on the offensive line and has a tenacious mean streak. I fully expect CJ Thorpe to be a great offensive lineman for the Nittany Lions.