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ICYMI: Penn State football makes offensive staff change

Penn State is moving some pieces on the offensive side of the football.

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Penn State football, offensive staff change
Penn State football head coach James Franklin motions to offensive lineman Bryce Effner (72) as he conducts an afternoon practice outside Holuba Hall on Saturday, August 6, 2022, in State College. Hes Dr 080622 Psumedia

James Franklin and Penn State are shuffling the deck on the offensive side of the football. On Wednesday morning, it was reported that the Nittany Lions were promoting offensive analyst Danny O’Brien into an open graduate assistant position. O’Brien has been a member of the Penn State football staff since 2021.

Penn State football makes offensive staff change

On Wednesday, On3’s Penn State affiliate Blue-White Illustrated was the first to report that the Nittany Lions were elevating Danny O’Brien from offensive analyst to graduate assistant. The position was left vacant after David Parker was moved into an analyst position earlier this year.

As a player, O’Brien and James Franklin crossed paths for one year in 2010, when Franklin was still the Terps’ offensive coordinator. In that season, O’Brien was the ACC Rookie of the Year and a Freshman All-American quarterback. O’Brien later transferred to Wisconsin after Franklin departed for Vanderbilt and would ultimately finish his collegiate career at the Division II level.

Danny O’Brien played for six seasons in the Canadian Football League and got his coaching start up north as well. O’Brien spent a year coaching running backs for the CFL’s British Columbia Lions. He joined the Penn State staff in 2021 as an off-field support analyst.

In his new role, O’Brien will likely work with the Nittany Lions’ quarterbacks under the direction of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. “I pinch myself every day, walking in at a place like Penn State; you’re competing at the highest level here,” O’Brien said in a 2021 interview with StateCollege.com. “…I love that type of environment. It’s awesome.”



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Matt is a Co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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