When John Scott Jr. decided to leave Penn State for the NFL it left an opening on the coaching staff. Manny Diaz and his defense showed tremendous growth last year and toward the end of the season, the defensive line started to click with it all.
Scott Jr. leaving has folks wondering who could step in and help them not to lose the momentum they have going into 2023, P.J. Mustipher has a suggestion.
“I want Coach Franklin to hire him,” Mustipher said. “I think he should because he’s put in a lot of work in our defensive line.”
Barnes returned to campus as a graduate assistant in 2020 following time spent as defensive coordinator at Northeast High School in Philadelphia. He would work closely and alongside Scott Jr. all the way up to his departure for the NFL last month.
James Franklin has shown an affinity to be able to trust former players who come back to State College for a coaching career despite their experience. In the case of Barnes, he has never held a major coaching position within the program.
At the same time, Franklin has also shown he will look outside the program to make position coaching hirings as he did in January when he hired Marques Hagans from Virginia.
For the time being, the position remains vacant as spring practices continue on campus for the Nittany Lions.