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Ohio State hires ex-Penn State DL coach Larry Johnson Sr as assistant head coach

Per Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, Ohio State is in the process of finalizing a contract with former Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. to replace Mike Vrabel.

As first reported by Pete Thamel, the same Sports Illustrated reporter who first broke Braxton Miller's return to Ohio State for his senior season (and is notoriously chummy with OSU head coach Urban Meyer), Penn State's stalwart assistant head coach Larry Johnson Sr. is expected to be the next defensive line coach for Ohio State. ESPN's Joe Schad reported the same not long after.

After 19 years in State College, Johnson put his name in the hat for the Penn State head coaching vacancy but was passed over in favor of Vanderbilt's James Franklin. Despite Franklin offering him the chance to remain on the staff, Johnson decided to move on.

Johnson is well regarded on the recruiting scene for his personal touch and many close to recruiting circles have expressed how strange it will be for Johnson recruiting for an institution other than Penn State after nearly 20 years helping the Lions maintain a position of strength in the mid-Atlantic. Johnson will now be doing the same for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Johnson is also heralded for being an outstanding teacher and given that the likes of Joey Bosa, Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Jalyn Holmes, and Dylan Thompson will all be at his disposal, the sky's the limit on the possibilities.

The veteran assistant actually just spoke Sunday evening at the annual American Football Coaches Association 2014 Convention in Indianapolis where it only took 10 minutes for him to motivate those in attendance to "run through a wall". The rest of Johnson's speech is a must peruse: