Every day during winter workouts, Penn State’s assistant coaches take time to tweet messages of congratulations to members of the team for strong performances, hard work, dedication, or anything else, really, they choose to point out.
It isn’t always particularly newsworthy, but today, offensive line coach Matt Limegrover offered some information that does affect the roster: C.J. Thorpe is apparently back on the offensive line.
— OLineCoach Limegrover(@CoachLimegrover) February 7, 2019
Penn State rather surprisingly moved Thorpe, a backup guard who was seeing some playing time, to defensive tackle. There was a need there at the time after Ellison Jordan went down with an injury, and Thorpe filled it. But head coach James Franklin said at the time that some coaches weren’t exactly excited to let Thorpe make the move, and he left the door open for a return to offense.
It made total sense it happened sooner rather than later.
Penn State loses starting guard Connor McGovern, the Lake-Lehman grad who declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, and the need for offensive line depth likely now exceeds the need on the defensive line. We’ll go over this more next week, when I start breaking down the spring roster position by position here on the blog. But by my count, I have 19 scholarship players on the defensive line — 12 of which have been in the program before. And there are, again by my count, 12 scholarship players on offense now with Thorpe being added. But just nine have been in the program.
So, clearly, Penn State needed a boost of experience on the offensive side, and Thorpe makes a lot of sense to provide it.