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Report: Deion Barnes Staying At Penn State; Moving From G.A. To Analyst

Big news.

Defensive end Deion Barnes (18)COLLEGE FOOTBALL Penn State Nittany Lions media day at Beaver Stadium and fall practice at Holuba Hall and the Lasch Building, University Park. Photo by Jeremy Drey 8/4/2014 Photo By Jeremy Drey/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

In a move first reported by Greg Pickel of BWI, Penn State is holding onto former graduate assistant Deion Barnes, who is transitioning from his G.A. role to an analyst role in Happy Valley.

Although this might not appear to be a big move on the surface, keeping Barnes in State College is a big coup for the program. Barnes has been looked at as a rising star in the industry as defensive line coach, and after three seasons with Penn State, it was expected that he would be on the move to a Group of Five program where he would be the full-time defensive line coach. Instead, the Nittany Lions made it work somehow, getting Barnes to spurn other opportunities to stay with Penn State as an analyst.

Likely one of the big reasons for the move? The NCAA is probably going to allow analysts to now legally coach in an on-the-field capacity.

For someone like Barnes, who doesn’t want to get shoehorned into just being a recruiter, I imagine this certainly played a big part in his decision to stay with Penn State. Now, he’ll basically have a lot of the same duties he did as a G.A. — assistant DL coach, helping out in recruiting (especially in Philly) — while getting a larger salary and probably doing a bit less of the administration work that grad assistants often have to fulfill.

This move could also prove to be a coach-in-waiting move of sorts, with Barnes being a likely front-runner for the defensive line job once/if John Scott Jr. moves on. That could prove to be years down the line though, so clearly, Barnes was looking for a reason to stay in Happy Valley.