Penn State Football

Former Penn State star Justin King joins recruiting staff


Former Penn State star Justin King is back in Happy Valley.

King, a defensive standout from 2005 to 2007, has joined the Nittany Lions’ staff as an assistant recruiting coordinator. He announced the news on Twitter, and it was confirmed by a Penn State spokesperson Saturday afternoon.

King will link up with his step-father Terry Smith, Penn State’s cornerbacks coach and defensive recruiting coordinator.

King, a Pittsburgh native, knows a thing or two about the recruitment of top talent — he was one of the highest-rated prospects to ever choose Penn State. The cornerback was a five-star recruit and the No. 1 player in Pennsylvania in 2005, according to 247 Sports.

King’s potential translated, too. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2007 before declaring for the 2008 NFL draft, forgoing his final year of eligibility. King was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round and played in the league for six years.

Now, King’s job is to find future NFL draft picks — and productive Nittany Lions — on the recruiting trail.

John McGonigal: 814-231-4630, @jmcgonigal9