The No. 22 strongside defensive end in the country, Johnnie Troutman out of Browns Mill (N.J.) Pemberton Township took an unofficial visit to Happy Valley last weekend for Penn State's Big Ten matchup against Ohio State. The 6-foot-4, 289-pounder with 4.9-second speed enjoyed the game between two of the schools he's considering, but was reluctant to name a leader.
"The Ohio State-Penn State game was a good one and both of those teams played very well and are strong," he said. "They both played about the same defense out there, but it was kind of boring since it was a predominately defensive game. That was a hard-nosed played game though.
"The atmosphere in the stadium was pretty wild and crazy as they fans there love their football. Everyone came up to support their team and it was a lot of fun."
After the game, the three-star prospect talked to coach Vanderlinden, Johnson and Paterno.
"I talked to them about the game and how they did and I was happy for them," he said. "It was a good win for Penn State."
The big question is did the unofficial draw Troutman closer to the Nittany Lions?
"I'd say it drew me a little bit closer since this was my first time going up there, but I'm still going to see all the other teams. It is nice to see them back to national prominence though, but if I like their school I'll like it no matter what," he said. "All the schools are pretty even at this time and I have nobody ahead of any other."
The No. 10 player in New Jersey plans to take officials to Virginia, Maryland, Boston College, Ohio State and Penn State. The only one he has been setting up is a December visit back to State College.
Sadly Troutman's season was cut short a couple weeks back when he tore his ACL.
"It was a freak accident where I twisted it the wrong way and it's been tough not being able to play," he said. "I'll do what I have to do to play next year. I still have to get surgery and then I have five months of recovery.
"I'm doing my best to be an emotional leader for the team now and helping support them any way I can. The team won our game last Saturday without me and they are doing pretty good. We make a lot of young mistakes, but if we stop doing those we'll be fine."