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Penn State Football Recruiting

‘Happy Valley is Somewhere you Can’t Beat’: ‘25 OL Thrilled After In-Person Penn State Offer

Photo by Isaac Sowells Jr.: Sowells with Penn State OL Coach Phil Trautwein

Penn State and other schools don’t always offer high school prospects in person.

Often, the process is done via phone call, and that makes sense.

But Penn State offensive line coach Phil Trautwein wanted to offer one particular lineman face to face.

Isaac Sowells Jr.,nicknamed “Spike,”  is from Louisville, Kentucky, which is more than eight hours away from State College. To get to Sowells, Trautwein had to take a flight and, to paraphrase the late, great Jimmy Buffett, “come down from Cincinnati” to meet him at Louisville Male High School. Louisville Male wasn’t open the day Trautwein visited, but Sowells’ high school coach, who also works at the school, made sure to get Trautwein and Sowells in.

Trautwein came with good news, and Sowells told Nittany Sports Now that he was grateful.

“It was really great for him to come down and see me,” Sowells said, “because, of course, Penn State’s a good miles away from Louisville.”

Sowells has made the trip from Louisville to State College before, having done so this past June for a camp.

After the camp, Sowells played his junior season, and Trautwein watched his highlights and saw big improvements.

“He said my ability in the run game became a lot quicker,” Sowells said.

Other improvements Trautwein noticed, Sowells said, included football IQ.

Sowells is helped in that department by the fact that he’s the son of a former NFL player.

Isaac Sowells Sr. played offensive line at Indiana in the early-to-mid 2000s. After that, he went to the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2006 Draft and played in the league for three seasons.

Sowells Jr. said one thing his dad has emphasized to him is being coachable, which the younger Sowells feels he is.

At 6-foot-2 and 292 pounds, Sowells’ play has led to him becoming a three-star recruit with offers from schools such as Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, NC State, South Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

Sowells loves big stadiums, and describes himself as an extrovert who enjoys being around crowds.

Penn State certainly meets that criteria.

“Of course, Happy Valley is somewhere you can’t beat,” Sowells said. “That’s one of the biggest stadiums I’ve ever seen in my life. Actually, that is the biggest I’ve seen in my life. It’s a great area.”

Sowells hasn’t been to Penn State since receiving his offer, but said he could be going there the first weekend of February, although it’s not a sure thing yet. This weekend, he plans on visiting Louisville.

Sowells has some time before he has to decide where to play, but he said he can definitely see himself playing at Penn State.

“I want a huge, fan atmosphere,” he said. “I don’t want to play in an empty stadium. Penn State already checks that box off the list.”


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