Penn State has its new defensive line coach. The program announced Monday that James Franklin has promoted former PSU standout Deion Barnes from graduate assistant to defensive line coach.

Branes has been on Franklin’s staff for the past 3 seasons working with the position group.

“We are excited to have Deion represent his alma mater as our defensive line coach,” Franklin said in a program release. “I have really been impressed watching him grow as a coach and leader these last three seasons. Deion’s passion for Penn State and the defensive line room has been a differentiator. It is clear to me that he wears his pride for this University through his work. The respect the players and staff have for Deion showed every day. I look forward to watching him continue to develop and inspire our defensive linemen. He was a great addition to our staff in 2020 and I look forward to watching him thrive in this new role.”

Barnes was a 3-year letterwinner at defensive end for Penn State, earning B1G Freshman of the Year honors in 2012. He was in the NFL in 2015 and ’16 and Alliance of American Football in 2019.

“I am thrilled and honored to be the defensive line coach for my alma mater,” Barnes said, via PSU. “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.”

Barnes succeeds John Scott Jr. who took a job with the Detroit Lions on Feb. 27. The Nittany Lions begin spring practice on Tuesday.