James Franklin has added two former Nittany Lions to his staff as graduate assistants for the 2020 season, former offensive lineman Wendy Laurent and former defensive end Deion Barnes.
Laurent came to Penn State in 2012 from the Hun School in New Jersey. He redshirted his freshman season but went on to play in 34 games for the Nittany Lions, which included eight starts. In his senior season, Laurent served as a reserve lineman but appeared in 12 games for the Big Ten Championship team. Last season, Laurent served as a graduate assistant for the University of Buffalo Bulls under head coach Lance Leipold.
Barnes came to Penn State in 2012 from Northeast High School in Philadelphia. In 2012, Barnes was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a first-team Freshman All-American. Barnes comes back to Happy Valley after a three-year coaching stint at his former high school (Northeast), where he was promoted to defensive coordinator this past season. Barnes was named No. 5 on Roar Lion’s Roar All-Decade Defensive End team in January.
Laurent and Barnes fill voids left when graduate assistants Mark Dupuis and Kevin Reihner took assistant coaching jobs at Old Dominion under former Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne.