Penn State Football

Key Penn State Football Coach Takes NFL Job

Penn State Football and head coach James Franklin have a vacancy to fill.

As first reported by Jon Sauber of the Centre Daily Times, Nittany Lions defensive line coach John Scott Jr. will leave Penn State for a job with the Detroit Lions in the NFL.

Scott Jr. held the defensive line coach position at Penn State Football since 2020 when he was hired from South Carolina. In addition to serving as Penn State’s defensive line coach, Scott Jr. held the title of run game coordinator for the defense.


Scott Jr. was among the coaches responsible for bringing Dani Dennis Sutton, Chop Robinson, and Zane Durant, among others to Happy Valley.

Franklin will now have a huge hole to fill at an important defensive position going into a pivotal season in 2023 for Penn State. Franklin will have no shortage of options on the table, as Penn State’s defensive line room will be intriguing for many coaches across the country. Penn State’s defensive line room contains a former 5-star defensive end Dani Dennis Sutton and the number five returning edge defenders according to On3 Sports in Chop Robinson. One name to watch is Deion Barnes, a former Penn State defensive end and graduate assistant turned analyst.

Whoever ends up taking the place of John Scott Jr. will have large shoes to fill and will have to produce immediate results for Penn State to have a chance to live up to the high expectations on the program in 2023 and 2024.

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