Manny Diaz steps into the DC role at Penn State following a wild offseason for the assistant. Previously the head coach at Miami, a whirlwind cycle saw him available after the Hurricanes lured Mario Cristobal away from Oregon.

Now, Diaz enters his first fall camp with the Nittany Lions. He also faces a tall task on the defensive side of the ball.

Coming out of 2021, Pen State must replace its top 2 tacklers and 5 of the top 7 producers from the defensive side of the ball. Ellis Brooks and Brandon Smith produced 181 tackles from the linebacker position last season with Jaquan Brisker, Arnold Ebiketie and Jesse Luketa also departing.

During Penn State’s media day, Diaz admitted one of his biggest focuses in fall camp is determining the best group of linebackers. He mentioned a lot of “question marks” in the group, something the coaching staff keeps at the forefront of their minds on a daily basis.

Diaz also indicated he will have a tough task on determining who will man the “mike” linebacker position. That role is especially vital as the QB of the defense.