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Q&A: Class of 2026 Prospect Bear McWhorter Discusses Penn State Offer With NSN

Photo by Joshua McWorter Sr.

Bear McWhorter and his father traveled 12 hours to get to Penn State.

The McWhorters, who live in Cartersville, Georgia, came to State College in late May for Penn State’s Rising Star football camp. 

The trip was worth it, and almost four months later, Penn State became the first school to offer the 6-foot-4, 280-pound lineman who just started his freshman season at Cass High School in Cartersville.

McWhorter, whose real name is Joshua McWhorter Jr., got the nickname “Bear” due to his father’s side of the family’s love of Alabama football and legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. 

Nittany Sports Now caught up with McWhorter via Twitter direct message, and here’s what he had to say.

 NSN: What does it mean to you to be offered by Penn State?

Bear McWhorter: It means more than anyone can imagine. I have worked so hard for this moment and just to see it pay off is such a special feeling, especially being PSU. We’re talking about a top 10 all-time program. It’s humbling. 

NSN: How would you describe Penn State offensive line coach Phil Trautwein?

BM: Coach Trautwein is a great coach – I would say a true technician. I learned a lot just from the few hours I had with him back in May. He knows what he is talking about 

NSN: What other coaches from Penn State have you been in contact with?

BM: I’ve mainly been in contact with Coach Trautwein, (defensive line Coach (John) Scott and (tight ends) Coach (Ty) Howle because of camp. I had a conversation with (head Coach (James) Franklin back in May while I was on campus for camp. 

NSN: Have you followed any of Penn State’s 2023 OL commits?

BM: I’ve been following Alex Birchmeier for a while now. He is very impressive in the trenches. I’m just learning more about J’ven (Williams). 

NSN: Where does Penn State stand early in your recruitment?

BM: That first offer is something special – unforgettable. My recruitment is early, but my recruitment will be boring. I’m not a big graphics or top 10 guy. What’s important to me is education & growth as a young man. NIL, facilities – they’re all great but will have zero impact on me. I just want to play ball. What I will say is my dad & I talked all the time about whoever was first would always be hard to beat. My whole family cried big time! When I have peace about where I’m supposed to be, I’m going to commit & be done with recruiting. 

NSN: What are your thoughts on State College as a town, being from far away?

BM: State College is an awesome place. I really enjoyed my time up there, and it is far away compared to more local programs. However, PSU is a special place with great people & they were my first. I think playing for a program as amazing as PSU would make any distance worth it.

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