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DC Bob Shoop staying at Penn State, after James Franklin keeps Twitter guessing

1/8/2015

Penn State received its most important commitment to date Wednesday night -- defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.

After a brief flirtation with LSU, for the same position, Shoop reaffirmed his desire to stay in Happy Valley on Wednesday. If he would have left, the Nittany Lions would be searching for their fifth defensive coordinator in five seasons.

The news played out in a unique way on Twitter. Call it trolling, call it entertainment -- call it both -- but coach James Franklin set social media and PSU message boards ablaze when he made a vague announcement that forced fans, reporters and recruits to guess what it meant. The answer popped up exactly an hour later, at 10:33 p.m. Wednesday, when Shoop and athletic director Sandy Barbour tweeted about him staying put.

Here’s how it all played out:

Right after recruits decide to commit, Franklin almost always sends out the same tweet. It’s become a bat signal of sorts to the PSU fan base, and everyone usually knows who pledged within a few minutes. That’s how it all started Wednesday night.

The difference this time? No one could figure out who it was. Even Penn State's 2015 class couldn't get any answers.

Some commits were OK with waiting. Others ... maybe not so much.

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Exactly an hour after Franklin's tweet, though, Shoop expressed his excitement about staying put at Penn State, and Franklin retweeted it. Mystery solved. It was a decision much of the fan base was waiting on because Shoop is widely considered the best assistant coach on PSU's staff. He took a middle-of-the-road defense from 2013 and turned it into, statistically, the nation's second-best defense in 2014. Plus, no returning Penn State player has yet had the same defensive coordinator in back-to-back seasons.

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