January 13, 2014

Report: Larry Johnson to Ohio State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State is close to finalizing a deal with former and longtime Penn State assistant Larry Johnson, according to Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated.

Johnson, who coached the Nittany Lions' defensive line for 19 years, turned down an offer to stay in such a capacity under new head coach James Franklin Monday. Franklin was hired Saturday.

Johnson, who was as Penn State's interim head coach for nine days after Bill O'Brien left the program to take over the Houston Texans, would become the first of two hires that coach Urban Meyer and company must make after losing defensive line coach Mike Vrabel and co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Everett Withers.

Vrabel left the Buckeyes to become the linebackers coach for the NFL's Houston Texans Thursday and Withers accepted an offer to take over as the head coach of James Madison University on Dec. 20.

Johnson, who was the last remaining Penn State assistant hired by former coach Joe Paterno, has coached seven All-Americans and six Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year or Defensive Lineman of the Year winners since, according to his official bio at GoPSUSports.com.


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