Penn State Football

Penn State Football Smartly Promotes Deion Barns as Defensive Line Coach

Deion Barnes, a former Penn State Football linebacker, graduate assistant, and analyst, has been promoted as the Nittany Lions‘ defensive line coach.

Barnes is a Nittany Lion through and through, and has given a lot to the Penn State Football program both as a player and as a coach.

Since joining the Penn State coaching staff as a graduate assistant three seasons ago, Barnes has been instrumental in bringing Penn State back into the recruiting game in Philadelphia and has been praised by other members of the staff and players for his work ethic and personality.

According to Terry Smith, via Audrey Snyder from the Athletic, Barnes had been “a great recruiter” that had done “tremendous for [Penn State] in Philadelphia.” Current and former players also love Barnes, including PJ Mustipher who took time out of his combine interview to stump for Barnes to be hired on as the DL coach.

PJ Mustipher is the first Penn State player to speak this week at the #NFLCombine. Asked him about Deion Barnes and Penn State’s vacancy at defensive line coach: “I want Coach Franklin to hire him. I think he should.”

— Johnny McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9) March 1, 2023


Why Penn State Football Made Right Decision

Barnes is seen as a rising star in the coaching industry, so it made sense for Penn State to lock him up while he is on the rise. Barnes recruiting relationships will continue to grow in Philadelphia, a place that Penn State wants to prioritize.

“I am thrilled and honored to be the defensive line coach for my alma mater,” Barnes said, in a statement released by the program. “I am extremely grateful to Coach Franklin for giving me this opportunity to lead a room of tremendous young men who have worked so hard each and every day. I have a lot of pride and passion for Penn State University, and I am excited to go to work with this coaching staff, this team, my letterman brothers and the best fans in college football.”

This hire could be one of head coach James Franklin’s best decisions long term if Barnes recruiting and coaching abilities continue to grow at a meteoric rate.

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Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.