STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- James Franklin has one spot left to fill on his coaching staff and former Florida running backs coach turned tight ends coach Ja'Juan Seider could be the final person to round out the staff.
ESPN College Football analyst Anthony Becht reported Wednesday evening that Seider -- who formerly coached the running backs at West Virginia for four seasons and whose work as a relentless recruiter helped make him the only holdover on Dan Mullen's staff -- would be headed to Penn State.
It's unclear if Seider would be in line to coach Penn State's wide receivers -- a spot previously held by Josh Gattis who officially departed for Alabama on Wednesday -- or if newly-hired running backs coach David Corley, who also has experience coaching wide receivers, could potentially switch positions. The latter could be in play as — interestingly enough —Seider recently followed Penn State running back signee Ricky Slade on Twitter. So, perhaps it'll be Seider who inherits a loaded backfield where Miles Sanders is expected to step up headed into his junior season to try and help replace the void left by Saquon Barkley.
Staff flexibility would be important here and given all the areas Franklin had to fill on his staff this offseason, one where he lost Joe Moorhead, Charles Huff and Gattis, this addition would certainly help Penn State on the recruiting trail, an area where Huff and Gattis were among Penn State's top recruiters.
Franklin responded to the offseason departures by promoting Ricky Rahne to offensive coordinator, adding special teams coordinator Phil Galiano who previously served as a defensive consultant and adding tight ends coach/offensive recruiting coordinator Tyler Bowen.
Seider, meanwhile, was moved from running backs coach to tight ends earlier this offseason at Florida, part of Mullen's staff shuffle. In addition to playing his college ball at West Virginia and then coaching there both as a graduate assistant from 2008-2010 and again as the running backs coach from 2013-2016, Seider also would be an ideal candidate for this Penn State staff given his strong ties to Florida.
The Florida native's recruiting relationships in the sunshine state date back to his high school coaching career in the talented South Florida hotbed where he coached the running backs at Glades Central, was the offensive coordinator at Palm Beach Lakes and coached the quarterbacks coach at Lake Worth High School all from 2001-2008. For a staff that has only improved on the recruiting trail, bringing in all top-25 class since Franklin's arrival, getting someone with strong knowledge and ties to South Florida could help the Lions gain a foothold in that area.
Pair those ties with recruiting success where Florida fans were grumbling about his departure all over the Internet on Wednesday -- plus his work with running backs where he's helped produced backs like Charles Sims and Wendell Smallwood -- and Franklin just might be in line to add another big-time recruiter and position coach to his staff.
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