Larry Johnson's recruiting clout in the state of Maryland has benefited Penn State greatly over the years. Aaron Maybin, Derrick Williams and Navorro Bowman are among the standouts Johnson, Penn State's defensive line coach, lured to State College from Maryland.
So it's no surprise that new University of Maryland coach Randy Edsall expressed interest in Johnson for his defensive coordinator vacancy. Former Miami coach Randy Shannon reportedly turned down the Terrapins' DC job.
The good news for Penn State: Johnson is staying put in Happy Valley.
From The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News:
Johnson told me today he is not a candidate for the job on Randy Edsall's new staff but wished not to discuss details. A knowledgeable source within the team said Johnson reluctantly turned down an overture from Edsall 10 days ago when Johnson was working a clinic in Baltimore. Johnson told Edsall he could not in good conscience entertain thoughts about the Maryland DC job after having assured several PSU recruits he had just signed that he would be coaching them next season, the source said.
Johnson turned down a chance to become Illinois' defensive coordinator following the 2008 season.
It's amazing that after all the buzz about Penn State losing assistants during this offseason, everyone has remained on Joe Paterno's staff. Johnson's presence will be key as Penn State tries to boost its defensive line play and, perhaps more important, land a talented 2012 recruiting class.