Report: Gattis expected to join Alabama staff


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Josh Gattis prior to the Fiesta Bowl. - AUDREY SNYDER / DKPS

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- With a team's success comes individual accolades and that's certainly proven to hold true this offseason in the coaching ranks where James Franklin's staff has undergone multiple shakeups as Franklin's assistants have become hot commodities for other staffs.

That process, which looked like it was finalized by the end of last week when the Nittany Lions hired David Corley to coach the running backs -- the team's 10th assistant coaching spot -- now looks to be far from finished as FootballScoop.com and Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports both report that wide receiver's coach Josh Gattis is expected to join Alabama's staff.

Feldman reports that Gattis, one of the team's top recruiters and the coach who helped the Lions produce and land some of the top receivers in the country, will be the Tide's Co-Offensive Coordinator.

Penn State's past five recruiting classes have all finished within the top 25, with the staff's best haul coming this year with a 2018 class that's still unfinished and ranked No. 4 in the nation per 247Sports. Gattis' work on the recruiting trail, paired with a loaded receiving corps of players he recruited and coached, makes this move one of Penn State's more challenging positions to replace this offseason -- and it's been an offseason full of staff changes.

Franklin promoted Gattis to passing game coordinator last month when quarterback's coach Ricky Rahne was elevated to offensive coordinator. This move was made after Joe Moorhead left to become the head coach at Mississippi State. Running backs coach Charles Huff went with Moorhead, which is why the Lions hired Corley to take Huff's old spot last week.

In December, Franklin also hired tight end's coach Tyler Bowen, a former Penn State graduate assistant who then coached at Fordham and Maryland before returning to Happy Valley. Last week, while unannounced by the team, Penn State on their official website named Bowen the offensive recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, taking away one responsibility from Gattis though it made perfect sense given Gattis' new passing game coordinator role.

The Lions also added special teams and assistant defensive line coach Phil Galiano this offseason, though he was around the program last year but in a much different capacity since he was a defensive consultant.

Still, what the National Champion Crimson Tide could be gaining with Gattis, a Durham, N.C., native who played safety at Wake Forest and also coached with Franklin at Vanderbilt, will be tough for the Lions to make up for on the recruiting trail. With the Lions having a few more spots to fill between now and the second signing period in February the timing is far from ideal. But, given Alabama's long postseason, talks with Gattis probably didn't heat up until the past week or two.

Gattis, the 2015 Scout.com recruiter of the year, is also rated as the No. 14 recruiter during this 2018 cycle per 247Sports. Penn State signed highly-touted wide receiver Justin Shorter last month and during Gattis' time in Happy Valley he helped mold Chris Godwin into an All-Big Ten honoree who was selected in the third round of last year's NFL Draft and also helped senior DaeSean Hamilton end his collegiate career as the Lions' all-time leader in receptions.

Prior to Penn State, Gattis coached wide receiver Jordan Matthews at Vanderbilt, resulting in Matthews becoming a two-time All-America honoree. He also coached at Western Michigan, helping Jordan White become an All-America honoree in 2011.

Gattis was out and about earlier this week on the recruiting trail with Franklin, making several in-home visits with the Lions' 2018 signees.

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