Penn State assistant Josh Gattis announces he is leaving for Alabama

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Penn State offensive recruiting coordinator and wide receivers Josh Gattis, here talking to reporters last offseason, is going to Alabama.

Penn State wide receivers coach Josh Gattis announced Wednesday he is leaving the Nittany Lions to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama.

Although neither Penn State nor Alabama had announced Gattis’ job move as of late Wednesday afternoon, reports had him becoming the Crimson Tide’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

Gattis, who had been part of James Franklin’s staff for the past six seasons, two at Vanderbilt and all four at Penn State, said good-bye to Happy Valley in a note on Twitter. He thanked Franklin for “being a mentor/friend (and) helping shape me as a coach.”

Gattis also thanked the Penn State community, the university administration, the assistant coaches he worked with and his players. He called the experience “a special part of my life” and said Penn State “will always hold a special place in my heart as both of my kids have been born in State College.”

Gattis coached a number of successful wide receivers at Penn State including Chris Godwin, a second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last April, and DaeSean Hamilton, who ended his career as the Nittany Lions’ all-time leader in receptions.

Gattis became the third member of Franklin’s offensive staff to leave the program since the end of the 2017 regular season. Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead accepted the job as head coach at Mississippi State in November and later hired former running backs coach and special teams coordinator Charles Huff.

Barkley a finalist.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was named as one of seven finalists for the Lombardi Award, given to the college football player who best shows excellence in performance, leadership, character and resiliency on and off the field.

Barkley finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was named winner of the Paul Hornung Award for his versatility. Heisman winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma also is a finalist.

Up until this season, the Lombardi Award was given to the nation’s best lineman or linebacker. Penn State’s Carl Nassib, a Malvern Prep graduate, captured the 2015 award.