Winchester (Va.) John Handley defensive tackle Derek Dowrey took a pair of unofficial visits in the last week. The 6-foot-3, 279-pounder broke down both trips with Rivals.com.
"I went to Duke last weekend and Penn State this past weekend," he said. "Duke was pretty good. They had their spring game and the coaches were a little busy a lot of the time. I got to talk to Coach Roper, my recruiting coach and I had a good sit down and asked questions of him.
"I also watched the spring game and I was comparing myself to them, picturing myself playing at that level. They haven't offered, and haven't really brought it up."
That trip was followed up by a visit to State College on Saturday.
"That was really good," he said. "I went up and we talked about the academics, I met with an academic advisor. Then, I got to talk to a strength coach who I met before the Northwestern game back in the fall that was good.
"Then, my family and I all talked to Coach Johnson, the defensive line coach. He had just gotten my final film that morning and only watched it one time. He was asking what I wanted to play and told me where he stood with me. It was really good to hear him say for himself what he thought and be completely honest with me."
So what did Johnson say?
"He said I was real close to getting an offer," he said. "He wasn't quite ready to do that yet, but if he's watching my film in the next couple days and feels I'll work out then he could.
"He needs to break down my film a bit more and wants to see me this summer at camp where he can make a judgment. He told me it was hard to evaluate me in a different position because my film I play zero technique, head under center every play and they don't play that. They want to see if I can play one gap instead of two gap."
Even without the offer, Dowrey maintains Penn State is extremely high on his list.
"My favorite right now is Penn State," he said. "This summer I went to camp there and got a tour of their football facilities and just got to talk about football and stuff like that. I feel like Penn State does things the right way and I feel I'd fit in well at Penn State. My high school prides itself on tradition and doing things the right way and I really think Penn State prides itself on the same things, it'd be an easy transition for me. Plus, I really like Coach Johnson. I've really gotten to know Coach Johnson; he's a good guy and coach too. If they offered I think I'd be ready to go."
At this time, Dowrey is unsure of any other visits coming this spring, but added he plans to hit many camps this summer.