Curtis Cothran and Parker Cothren, the two Penn State starting defensive tackles and close friends with names that sound alike, have done a lot for each other during their five years together on the football team.

One thing Cothran, a Council Rock North High School graduate from Newtown, has done for Cothren, of Huntsville, Ala., is convert him into an Eagles fan.

"When we were freshmen, he didn't have a TV in the dorm so he would always wake me up on Sunday morning to watch the game," Cothren said Wednesday. "I always thought that was kind of funny because I was never a big Eagles fan coming from Alabama, so I didn't really care about the game.

"But through the weeks, I started becoming an Eagles fan. I thought that was kind of funny how I went from not caring about them at all to being a pretty big Eagles fan by the end of the year."

Cothren said Cothran had a direct method for using his television.

"He'd just walk in, turn the lights on, grab the remote, turn the TV on. He wasn't very shy," Cothren said.

The two have been like brothers since arriving on campus in 2013. That's especially true in the middle of the defensive line, where they have started 10 games together this season.

Cothren and Cothran have continued to watch Eagles games together every Sunday this year and usually go out to dinner afterward at a local State College eatery that has a 59-cent wing special. They might reverse the order this week with the Eagles playing a night game at Dallas.

"Curtis is probably one of the best people I've ever met in my life," Cothren said. "He's definitely one of my best friends. He's just a great guy. You can always count on Curtis. He's a really good football player, and everyone can see that from his performance throughout the years. He's an awesome dude. He's always there for me."

In an interview last month, Cothran said he and Cothren were "great friends."

"Just knowing that you've got your best friend right next to you (on the field) is definitely one of the most fun parts about playing," Cothran said.