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Former Penn State LB Deion Barnes Promoted to Analytics Coordinator

Penn State coach James Franklin
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

Deion Barnes will be sticking around Penn State after three years as a graduate assistant.

Barnes, a former PSU linebacker, has been promoted from defensive grad assistant to offensive/defensive analyst & analytics coordinator, as Greg Pickel of Blue-White Illustrated first reported.

He rejoined Penn State as a grad assistant after his professional football career ended in 2019, spending the last three seasons in that role.

As a player at Penn State, Barnes recorded 99 tackles (48 solo), 26.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, four pass breakups and five forced fumbles during his four seasons. Barnes was the Big Ten’s freshman of the year in 2012, playing a key part Im in one of the most important seasons in program history. After the Jerry Sandusky scandal led to Joe Paterno’s firing, Bill O’Brien’s hiring and NCAA sanctions, the “Iron Lions” surprised the college football world in 2012 by going 8-4.

O’Brien left Penn State after the 2013 season, and Barnes stayed for the start of the James Franklin era. Penn State initial four-year bowl ban, which would have expired after the 2015 season, got reduced to two years. Therefore, Barnes and his teammates got to play Boston College in the 2914 Pinstripe Bowl, which Penn State won, 31-30, in overtime. Barnes had three tackles in that game, including a tackle for loss.

Barnes went to the NFL after a breakout senior season in which he racked up 44 tackles (21 solo), 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

He went un-drafted in 2015 NFL and spent time with the New York Jets and Kansas Chiefs— also  playing with the AAF’s San Antonio Commanders— before going into coaching.

Barnes will continue to work with the program in 2023, rapidly rising as a well-liked and respected member of the coaching staff.


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