STATE COLLEGE — Penn State filled its fourth coaching vacancy on Saturday when it named John Scott Jr. its new defensive line coach.

Scott replaces six-year defensive line coach Sean Spencer, who announced last week he was leaving Penn State for the same position with the New York Giants.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity coach (James) Franklin has given me,” Scott said in a statement. “Coach Franklin is a tremendous leader who has the program on the rise and I’m excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to work with coach (Brent) Pry and the defensive staff.

“I have known coach Pry for more than 20 years as a player, graduate assistant and position coach, and he has definitely had an impact on my career. I can’t wait to get rolling with the defensive line and continue to build on the tradition they have established.”

Scott comes to Penn State after spending the last three seasons in the Southeastern Conference. He led South Carolina’s defensive line in 2019, and he served as Arkansas’ defensive tackles coach in 2017 and 2018.

“We are thrilled to welcome John, Blakely, John III and Juliette to our Penn State family,” Franklin said. “We believe John will continue to build on the defensive line success we’ve fostered since our arrival at Penn State. He has an impressive coaching resume with experience in the NFL, Big 12 and SEC. John’s diverse accomplishments separated him from the rest of the candidates throughout the hiring process. In addition, his long-standing relationship with Brent Pry at Georgia Southern, Louisiana-Lafayette and Western Carolina ensures he’ll hit the ground running as we enter spring ball.”

Scott has also held college coaching positions at Texas Tech (defensive line), Georgia Southern (special teams/defensive line), Missouri State (defensive ends), Western Carolina (defensive ends/outside linebackers), Norfolk State (defensive line) and Louisiana-Lafayette (graduate assistant).

In addition to his college coaching experience, Scott spent two seasons (2015 and 2016) with the New York Jets as an assistant defensive line coach and a defensive quality control coach.

Scott graduated from Western Carolina in 2000.

“His attention to techniques, fundamentals and the appropriate mentality needed to guarantee we continue to compete at the highest levels of college football,” Franklin said. “We’re also excited to welcome his wife, Blakely, back to Penn State where she served on the ICA Mental Task Force in 2012.”

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