Penn State Football filled its last coaching vacancy on Monday night.
Penn State Football has officially hired Deion Barnes as the next defensive line coach of the Nittany Lions.
Barnes replaces John Scott Jr., who left Penn State for a position with the Detroit Lions back in February.
A standout on the field for the Nittany Lions from 2011-2014, Barnes returned to Penn State back in 2020 as a graduate assistant. He became a favorite amongst players on the team and recruits, especially those from the Philadelphia area, where Barnes is from.
Earlier this offseason, Barnes had moved to an analyst role after his GA tenure expired. But, after Scott’s departure, Barnes was a prime candidate for the job.
After graduating from Penn State in 2014, Barnes was picked up by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent. He then spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016. After a stint with the AAF in 2019, Barnes came back to Happy Valley.
Between his playing stints, Barnes was a coach at his alma mater, Northeast High School in Philly. This helped him build relationships with recruits in the area, which helped the Nittany Lions in recruiting.
This will be Barnes’ first time as a position coach at the college level. That fact will cause some concern, and it rightfully should, considering how important the 2023 season is for Penn State Football. With that said, if James Franklin is comfortable with the move, then it’s hard to disagree.
While we will have to wait a few months to see how Barnes performs on the field, he will have a chance to prove himself on the recruiting trail right away. The Nittany Lions currently do not have a defensive line commit in either the 2024 or 2025 recruiting classes.