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Penn State Hires Deion Barnes As Defensive Line Coach

Penn State Made.

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

After three seasons as a graduate assistant — and a couple weeks as an analyst — Deion Barnes has been elevated to Penn State’s full-time defensive line coach.

Although this move might not have been expected at the onset of John Scott’s departure, it became increasingly likelier and likelier that Barnes would get the full-time gig as timed passed on. It appeared that James Franklin made a run at Chicago Bears assistant defensive line coach Justin Hinds, but with Hinds deciding to stick with the NFL game, Penn State moved its attention back to Barnes.

Like I said a few weeks ago: going from a G.A. to a Power 5 position coach isn’t seen all that often — especially at a position like defensive line that truthfully is a more difficult position to coach than others. I mean, the saying is “football games are won along the line of scrimmage” and not “football games are won at the second level or outside the hash marks” for a reason.

Of course, despite how big the jump will be for Barnes, it’s telling that it was something even considered at all — he’s lauded as one heck of a coach already, and a potential superstar in the industry. He received widespread support from players, getting shoutouts from PJ Mustipher at the NFL combine to “congratulation” tweets from former coaches.

Obviously, Barnes will hit the ground running here. He knows the room better than literally anyone else in America (I’m second) so the “onboarding process” should be minimal as he gets right into it with Penn State starting spring practice this week.

Lastly, a hearty congrats to Deion. There aren’t many more people in this world more Penn State through-and-through than Deion Barnes. Recruited and then played for Joe Paterno, Bill O’Brien, and James Franklin, before coming back as a graduate assistant these last three seasons. He’s a guy that’s put a lot in Penn State these last 10 years, so it’s pretty cool to see him reach a major pinnacle like this.