LJ staying

Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson has decided not to accept a job offer from Illinois and will stay with the Nittany Lions, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported this afternoon.

Inquirer sources confirmed the news.

This past weekend Johnson met with Illinois coach Ron Zook and was offered the defensive coordinator position along with a significant raise. According to a source close to Johnson, he mulled over the decision and seriously entertained the idea of leaving. The 57-year-old assistant then met with head coach Joe Paterno yesterday. Apparently, he chose to stay after that meeting.

The staff was informed of his staying today. It is not clear if Johnson was offered a promotion or a raise. A team source, though, said that Johnson's staying is not money related.

Johnson has become Penn State's best  recruiter and has had a hand in securing 11 of the Lions' 23 commitments for their incoming class.

Check tomorrow's newspaper or online for more on this breaking story.