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Penn State Football Hires South Carolina’s John Scott Jr. As Defensive Line Coach

Update, 6:30 p.m.: Penn State football officially announced the hire of John Scott Jr. as its new defensive line coach Saturday night.

“We are thrilled to welcome John, Blakely, John III, and Juliette to our Penn State family,” head coach James Franklin said. “We believe John will continue to build on the defensive line success we’ve fostered since our arrival at Penn State. He has an impressive coaching resume with experience in the NFL, Big 12 and SEC. John’s diverse accomplishments separated him from the rest of the candidates throughout the hiring process.”

“I am very thankful for the opportunity Coach Franklin has given me,” Scott Jr. said. “Coach Franklin is a tremendous leader who has the program on the rise and I’m excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to work with Coach [Brent] Pry and the defensive staff. I have known Coach Pry for more than 20 years as a player, graduate assistant and position coach, and he has definitely had an impact on my career. I can’t wait to get rolling with the defensive line and continue to build on the tradition they have established.”

Original Story: Penn State football has reportedly found its Sean Spencer replacement.

The program will bring on John Scott Jr. from South Carolina as its new defensive line coach, according to The State — a newspaper based in Columbia, South Carolina.

Scott Jr. was linked with the position over the past couple of days. He spent one season on the Gamecocks’ staff as their defensive line coach, but Scott Jr. has a decade of experience at both the collegiate and NFL levels.

Before joining South Carolina, Scott Jr. was a member of Arkansas’ coaching staff for two seasons. The Greer, South Carolina native was the defensive tackles’ coach in 2017 before taking charge of the entire defensive line for the following season.

Penn State’s newest coach was a member of the New York Jets’ coaching staff in 2015 and 2016, first serving as a defensive quality control coach before earning a promotion to assistant defensive line coach for his second season with the Jets. In 2015, New York’s defense led the NFL in red zone efficiency and rushing touchdowns allowed, and that *almost* carried Gang Green to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Scott Jr. has also made stops at Texas Tech — where he coached Kerry Hyder to All-Big 12 honors — Georgia Southern, and Western Carolina throughout his career. He played football at Western Carolina as a defensive end, and he earned all-conference honors following the 1998 season.

Now that Scott Jr.’s hiring is official, Penn State has brought on four new coaches this offseason. Offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield, and offensive line coach Phil Trautwein were hired to replace Ricky Rahne, Gerad Parker, and Matt Limegrover, respectively.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]


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