2. Not the DC in waiting
There was a belief that Franklin would target a coach that could eventually take over for Manny Diaz at defensive coordinator, that was not the case.
After being the head coach at Miami and having a great season as the defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, the chances of Diaz being in Happy Valley in 2024 are slim. No one would blame Franklin for looking to the future with his defensive line coach hire.
The name that was associated with this theory the most was Texas A&M defensive line coach Elijah Robinson, also a former Penn State football player.
Considering this is Barnes’ first coaching gig, it’s highly unlikely that he would be the replacement for Diaz in a year or two. This does open the door for safeties coach Anthony Poindexter now.
If Penn State does hire from within after Diaz’s eventual departure, chances are Poindexter would be the guy now considering he already has the co-defensive coordinator title next to his name.
While it’s hard to predict the future, especially with college assistant coaches, for now keep tabs on Poindexter as the name to watch if Diaz was to move on.