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Reports: Former Penn State Linebacker Dan Connor Joins Program As Defensive Analyst

Penn State football’s all-time leader in tackles is officially making his way back to Happy Valley.

James Franklin hired former linebacker Dan Connor as a defensive analyst, according to a report from Blue White Illustrated. The Wallingford, Pa., native played four seasons with Penn State and spent six years in the NFL.

Along with Connor, the Nittany Lions are also reportedly bringing in Rick Lyster as a defensive analyst and former Temple running backs coach Gabe Infante as an offensive analyst. Lyster has already had experience with newly-hired Manny Diaz, previously serving as a part of his staff in Miami.

Coming to Penn State as a five-star recruit in 2004, Connor anchored a phenomenal linebacker group alongside Paul Posluszny and Sean Lee. His 419 total tackles rank No. 1 all-time across Penn State’s program history. Connor also tallied 14 sacks and four interceptions throughout his career in Happy Valley.

In addition to the strong statistics, the linebacker also received numerous accolades in his college career, being named a two-time first-team All-American and receiving the 2007 Chuck Bednarik Award, which is annually presented to the nation’s top defensive player.

The Carolina Panthers drafted Connor No. 74 overall in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with the Panthers before playing with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Over the span of his NFL career, Connor tallied 188 total tackles and one sack.

Following his NFL career, Connor was hired as the linebackers coach at West Chester University in 2014. He then spent two years as the head coach at Archbishop Carroll High School in 2016 and 2017 and was hired as defensive coordinator at Widener University in 2018.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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