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Penn State coach James Franklin thanks John Scott Jr., as the assistant departs for an NFL job

Greg Pickelby:Greg Pickel02/27/23


Penn State coach James Franklin has acknowledged the departure of multi-year defensive line coach John Scott Jr. The 10th-year leader of the Lions released a statement on the topic Monday night, hours after Blue-White Illustrated and other media outlets reported that Scott Jr., was leaving State College for a job with the Detroit Lions. The NFL franchise has not yet announced the hire, however, as of 8:15 p.m. on Feb. 27. Scott Jr., will replace Todd Wash, who left Detroit for a job with the Carolina Panthers.

“I would like to thank John for everything he has contributed to our program over the past three years,” Franklin said.

“John is a great coach and also a great man. I am grateful for his friendship and the impact he has had on our student-athletes. This was a great opportunity for him in the NFL and I wish him and his family nothing but the best.”

Scott Jr., is making his second coaching stop in the pros. His first came with the New York Jets in 2015 and 2016. Before that, he played for former Penn State and current Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry at Western Carolina. He later worked under Pry at Louisiana-Layfayette. They’d later reconnect with the Lions, of course, before Pry moved on to lead the Hokies.

Tracing John Scott Jr.’s career at Penn State

Scott Jr., arrived at Penn State ahead of the 2020 season. It marked his Big Ten job and came on the heels of two stops over three seasons in the SEC. He spent 2017-2018 at Arkansas and 2019 with South Carolina.

Odafe Oweh, Shaka Toney, and Arnold Ebiketie all became NFL Draft picks after learning under Scott Jr. PJ Mustipher is expected to be added to that list this spring.

As for the recruiting side of the equation, Scott Jr., helped Penn State sign four defensive linemen in the Class of 2023. He also helped land transfer Chop Robinson before the 2022 season. He, of course, was an All-Big Ten pick at defensive end last season.

What’s next for the Lions?

James Franklin does not have to race to replace Scott Jr. However, he also doesn’t have much time to waste. Recruiting visits can begin again this Wednesday, March 1. And, spring practice starts at Penn State in two weeks. Thus, expect the longtime Lions head coach to move efficiently to fill the open slot on his on-field staff.

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