O'Brien reportedly hires new assistant coach; four going to NFL combine

Penn State head football coach Bill O'Brien. (Bradley C Bower/AP)

Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien has hired Anthony Midget to his coaching staff, according to a report in the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail.

The appointment of Midget, who was hired as an assistant coach at Marshall less than two weeks ago, fills the vacancy left last month by the departure of defensive coordinator Ted Roof to Georgia Tech.

Speculation is that Midget, 34, a former All-America defensive back at Virginia Tech, will be the secondary coach. The Nittany Lions’ previous secondary coach, John Butler, was moved to take Roof’s place as defensive coordinator.

Midget’s move to Penn State was confirmed to the Daily Mail by Marshall head coach Doc Holliday.

Midget spent the previous five years on the coaching staff at Georgia State, the final season as defensive coordinator.

In other news, the football program announced Thursday that four seniors from last year’s team – defensive tackle Jordan Hill, linebackers Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti and center Matt Stankiewitch – have been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

The combine will take place from Feb. 20 through 26 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Hodges, a Paulsboro High School graduate who finished fourth in the Big Ten in tackles, joined with Hill and Mauti to spark the Big Ten’s second-ranked defense that helped the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record last season. Stankiewitch was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy given to the nation’s best center.

Mauti, the only Big Ten player ranked in the conference top 10 in tackles, interceptions and forced fumbles, suffered a knee injury in a Nov. 17 game against Indiana and missed the rest of the season. He never has disclosed the extent of his injury but he will participate in the combine.

--Joe Juliano