Penn State was the first school to offer Bear McWhorter in his football recruiting journey.
Before that, McWorther and his father, Josh Sr— Josh is McWorther’s real name— drove double-digit hours to get to Penn State after their flight plans were hindered, leading to what became a great travel story.
A few months later, Penn State became the first school to offer McWhorter, doing so days before the 2022 season started.
McWhorter was just starting his freshman season at Cass High School in Cartersville, Georgia.
Now, his freshman season has come and gone. McWhorter is now more experienced and has many more football offers in addition to Penn State in his recruiting journey.
Since Penn State broke the ice, McWhorter has picked up offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
The most prominent school to offer McWhorter so far is Alabama. Along with being arguably college football’s premier program, McWhorter’s family loves the Tide, so much so that his nickname is an homage to the legendary Bear Bryant.
Penn State’s still near the top of the list for McWhorter, and the school’s offensive line coach, Phil Trautwein, has been in touch with McWhorter’s father, Josh.
“It’s hard with being a 2026 (player) and Penn State is big on the (NCAA) rules – their not allowed to reach out to me,” McWhorter told Nittany Sports Now via text, “but Coach Trautwein texts my dad frequently checking up on me which means a lot.”
The younger McWhorter is a big fan of Trautwein as well.
“Coach Traut is my guy,” he said. “He’s always very welcoming when I’m in Happy Valley and always teaching me ways to improve my game. He also made the trip down to my high school in January which meant a lot.”
McWhorter said Trautwein visited Cass when he was recruiting in Georgia.
“We talked some ball and what I’m doing to get better,” McWhorter said.
Since starting his high school career, McWhorter feels he’s improved on his “lateral quickness, flexibility and having heavy hands with good placement.”
McWhorter got to be in Beaver Stadium for the school’s annual White Out Game this fall. He and 107,000+ others got to watch Penn State pound Minnesota, 45-17.
Along with the spectacular visuals the White Out creates, it’s also one of Penn State’s premier recruiting events, and McWhorter was impressed.
“The game was incredible,” he said, “such an awesome atmosphere with some of the best fans in the nation.”
McWhorter has several trips planned for this summer. In the coming week alone, he’ll be visiting Tennessee, Clemson and Texas.
He wants to visit Penn State, too, but that’s a little more complicated than other schools down south. McWhorter last visited Penn State in late March for a spring practice.
”Getting to State College isn’t a very easy trip from GA,” he said, “but I try to get there as much as I can.”