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Penn State finalizes three staff moves

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Ja'Juan Seider during a West Virginia practice. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Ja'Juan Seider is officially joining the Penn State staff and will coach the running backs, James Franklin announced Thursday afternoon.

Seider, who coached the running backs at Florida last season and who played at West Virginia, slides into a position that allows newly-hired assistant coach David Corley to move from running backs coach to wide receivers coach.

Franklin also announced that defensive line coach Sean Spencer, who has been coaching with Franklin dating back to their Vanderbilt tenure -- making him one of three coaches who is still with Franklin at Penn State -- was promoted to associate head coach.

“As soon as I met Ja’Juan, I knew that he would be a great fit for our staff,” Franklin said in a statement. “He comes highly recommended from a lot of people in the industry I respect. Ja’Juan has a quiet confidence and a natural charisma that will relate well to our running backs. His experience as a player and a coach will complement our offensive scheme. He is also widely regarded as one of nation’s top recruiters and his ties to this region will be beneficial. We are excited to have Ja’Juan and his family join this community.”

The recruiting aspect is extremely important here as Seider's time in South Florida as a high school coach also helps the Florida native have ties to an area that produces some of the top prospects seemingly every recruiting cycle. While Penn State's bread and butter will always be the in-region territories and those within 3 hours of campus, they've made inroads in Detroit and Texas in the past two classes while they continue to recruit the nation for the players who are the best fit for their program.

"My family and I are so excited to join the Penn State staff in Happy Valley,” Seider said in a statement. “We are honored and privileged to be a part of a football program that is so rich in tradition. I believe Coach Franklin is doing something special here and I can’t wait to chase championships in Big Ten country. Hello Nittany Nation."

Spencer's desire to continue working as a defensive line coach was one of the first qualities that Franklin admired when he hired him at Vanderbilt. Balancing the staff with young go-getters who want to be head coaches like this offseasons departures with Joe Moorhead and Josh Gattis with other coaches who want to be top-notch assistants and coordinators is part of compiling a staff that could have a few key pieces together for many years. Between Ricky Rahne, Brent Pry and Spencer, Franklin has a lengthy history with those three and now can continue building around that nucleus.

With a staff at 10 members, Franklin and his old and new assistants now have a little less than two weeks to round out the 2018 recruiting class.

“For the last seven years, Sean has done a tremendous job coaching and developing talent,” Franklin said in a statement. “He is deeply admired by both our players and coaches. Sean’s boundless energy, on and off the field, is what makes him unique. I appreciate his loyalty to our program and he is very deserving of this role.”

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