James Franklin and Penn State Football will have to make its second staff hire of the offseason.
There was a shakeup on the Penn State Football coaching staff on Monday as defensive line coach John Scott Jr. is off to the NFL.
Scott’s departure was confirmed by head coach James Franklin in a social media post on Monday night. He was the defensive line coach for the Nittany Lions for the past three seasons.
Having to make a coaching change this late in the offseason can be tricky. The options may be slim as many guys who may have been interested two months ago, may decline if they are comfortable with where they are or just made a move.
This is a big hire for Franklin considering the expectations for Penn State Football in 2023. The defensive line needs to be playing at a high level consistently.
Here are a few early names to keep an eye on.
Deion Barnes (Penn State Analyst)
Former Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes has been on the coaching staff for the past three years as a graduate assistant. As his GA time came to a close, Penn State worked to find him a new role so he would stay around the program.
It’s been cited multiple times that Barnes has been a key recruiter for the Nittany Lions during his time on the staff. Considering he was a high school coach in Philadelphia, Barnes has strong relationships with recruits from the city. As Penn State works to get a foothold on the Philadelphia recruiting scene, Barnes has been the x-factor.
With that said, Barnes has never been a college position coach before. It will be interesting to see if Franklin would go with a first-year coach for the most important season of his tenure. If Franklin does, that says a lot about Barnes’ abilities.
Charlie Partridge (Pitt DL Coach)
Will James Franklin ruffle some feathers and go after Pitt’s Charlie Partridge? Considering Partridge’s track record, it’s certainly possible.
The former Florida Atlantic head coach has been the defensive line coach at Pitt since 2017. During his tenure, Partridge has turned multiple 3-star recruits into NFL caliber players. Pitt defensive lineman Calijah Kancy is projected to be a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Now imagine what Partridge could do with the blue-chip recruits that Penn State is bringing at a high rate.
If Partridge coached at any other school, he would be a very realistic option, but the question is, would he really spurn Pitt for the in-state rival?
Elijah Robinson (Texas A&M DL Coach/ Asst. HC)
Another former Nittany Lion finds himself on this list.
Elijah Robinson was pretty popular name around these parts last year when his name came up for the Penn State defensive coordinator opening. While that didn’t happen, his return to his alma mater is now possible again.
Robinson is considered one of the best defensive line coaches in the country, especially for his elite recruiting skills. Adding him to the staff would take Penn State’s recruiting to another level, especially on defense.
Texas A&M certainly will not let its ace recruiter go without a fight. This would likely result in a bidding war of sorts and Penn State will have to add titles to Robinson’s position in addition to being the defensive line coach.
With A&M in a bit of a tailspin, maybe Robinson wants a fresh start with Penn State football.