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Reports: Penn State to lose at least one assistant to Joe Moorhead's Mississippi State staff

Charles Huff, the Nittany Lions' special teams coordinator and running backs coach, apparently is set to join new Bulldogs head coach Joe Moorhead.

Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead looks at his play list during a 52-0 win against Akron at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.
Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead looks at his play list during a 52-0 win against Akron at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.Read moreABBY DREY / AP

Now that former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has been introduced as the new head coach at Mississippi State, he apparently will be joined by at least one assistant coach from the Nittany Lions.

Special teams coordinator and running  backs coach Charles Huff reportedly is headed to Mississippi State, according to reports by The Athletic and

Huff coached on head coach James Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt in 2011 and, after spending one year each with the Buffalo Bills and Western Michigan, rejoined Franklin after he took the Penn State job in January 2014.

Huff's departure means Franklin would have to find two new assistant coaches. It is unclear whether Franklin will use one of his current assistants as offensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions' upcoming bowl game, or if he would hire someone on a more permanent basis.

In 2015, Franklin fired offensive coordinator John Donovan and, two weeks later, brought in Moorhead to replace him. But the head coach designated then-quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne to be in charge of the offense for the TaxSlayer Bowl game against Georgia.

Rahne, now the tight ends coach and passing game coordinator, is thought to be a top candidate for offensive coordinator should Franklin decide to elevate an assistant.

Moorhead took part at his first news conference in his new job on Thursday. He said he is "forever indebted" to Franklin for hiring him away from Fordham.

"Two years ago, he was in need of an answer at the offensive coordinator position," he said, "and he had the vision and foresight to roll the dice and take a chance on a 42-year-old head coach from a I-AA school who needed to come in and help a Big Ten offense, help the team reach its goal."

Moorhead said he would not return to Penn State to coach in its bowl game. He also said he would not go after any high school players who were recruited by the Nittany Lions.

Details of Moorhead's contract, a four-year deal worth a base salary of $11 million plus incentives, were released Thursday. Moorhead will start with an annual salary of $2.6 million, with $100,000 raises in each of the next three years.

Big haul for Barkley

Penn State's Saquon Barkley became the second player in Big Ten history to win three major individual awards presented by the conference.

Barkley, a junior, was named offensive player of the year, running back of the year and specialist of the year. Only Jabril Peppers of Michigan has won three major individual awards in the same season, doing it last year.

The Penn State star is the first player to win back-to-back offensive player of the year honors since Ohio State's Braxton Miller did it in 2012 and 2013. He joined Miller and Purdue's Drew Brees (1998 and 2000) as multiple winners of the same award.

Barkley rushed for 1,134 yards in 12 games, caught 47 passes for 594 yards and averaged 28.4 yards on 15 kickoff returns. He averaged 179.5 all-purpose yards, second in FBS, and scored 21 total touchdowns.

He also was named as one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation player of the year award.

McSorley a finalist

Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley was named as one of 11 finalists for the Manning Award as the nation's top quarterback. McSorley, who also is one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 3,228 yards and 26 touchdowns.