When news broke of Jared Cohen's decommitment from Maryland it caught many people off guard. The Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh offensive guard had been planning on playing college football in College Park but when Penn State offered him a scholarship it forced him to reconsider.
"Recently Penn State contacted me and showed interested in when they put an offer on the table," said the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Cohen. "I told Maryland that I wanted to make sure they were the right choice for me and that I was going to take a visit to Penn State while I stayed committed. Maryland told me that if I wanted to take that visit that I would need to decommit. Decommitting was tough but taking this visit is something that I needed to do so that I know I'm going to the right college for four or five years."
Cohen's decision to visit Penn State is not a knee-jerk reaction. He had been interested in the Nittany Lions for a long time.
"Penn State was the first school to start recruiting me," he said. "When I visited there for the Blue and White game before my junior year I thought their facilities were incredible. I really liked the coaches also. The team fell off a little bit with the sanctions and the scholarship situation. When I visited there initially, I thought to myself that that was the place I wanted to be but other schools started reaching out after that and Penn State started backing off. Now that they are back interested I want to check it out again. I'm going to head up to Penn State on January 24."
For now Maryland and Penn State are the only two contenders for Cohen but that could change.
"As far as I know right now there aren't other schools reaching out to me," Cohen said. "I'm probably going to talk to my coach to see if there are any other schools that have reached out. To be honest, I'm open to listening to other schools but I'm going to be pretty selective about which ones I'm going to seriously pursue."
Cohen was all Maryland for such a long time and there is still a good chance he might decide to stick with his hometown school.
"Obviously I've had a great relationship with all the coaches at Maryland," he said. "To be honest, the chances of me ending up at Maryland are equal to the chances of me ending up at Penn State. It mainly depends on how my visit to Penn State goes and if there are other schools reaching out. It's going to be which school I feel more comfortable with. It's pretty much an equal shot right now."
There are a number of reports addressing possible coaching changes at both Maryland and Penn State. Cohen is keeping an eye on both situations.
"Obviously if coach Edsall was to go or there was a coaching change at Maryland it would be pretty difficult for me," said Cohen. "I have heard the offensive line coach might be gone after this year and that is weighing on my a little bit. I would like to know who the offensive line coach would be before I decided to commit again.
"It's the same deal with Penn State," he said. "If there is a coaching change it will definitely change the situation. Neither school is going to hire a coach that doesn't know what they are doing but I would like to know who they are going to be. After talking with coach O'Brien it seems to me he is intending to stay but you never know."
With the recruiting dead period in full effect, Cohen is relaxing and taking everything in but once the contact period starts up again on January 15 life could get a little chaotic for Cohen.
"To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what to expect," Cohen said. "I'm probably going to be getting a lot of calls that week. We'll see what happens. That week could get a little hectic."
Cohen originally committed to Maryland in mid February.