Well, a few days in to the search for the LSU offensive line coaching spot, and Paul and I have already taken it on the chin a bit with regards to Kevin Maewae, who has expressed interest in the job. A few other names from our list have come up, others haven't. So let's recap what we've heard to date.
For starters, there was this, after I asked FootballScoop's twitter:
They are working on landing a home run. Sit tight. RT @ATVS_ChefBilly: @footballscoop Anything new on the LSU o-line situation?— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) January 11, 2014
What's that mean? Well, let's see what names have been publicly linked to the job as of this morning:
Mea culpa -- I absolutely did not think Mawae would be up for this job, largely because he'd said as much in a radio interview. That might have been out of respect for Greg Studrawa. I mean lets face it, if a legendary former player puts it out there he'd like to coach the offensive line at LSU while it still has a sitting coach, that'd be kind of awkward. But reports have said that Mawae has expressed interest in the opening, and while there's been no confirmation of an interview, I'm certain Les Miles & Co. would talk to Mawae as a courtesy, if nothing else. As it turns out, he has dipped his toe into the coaching waters somewhat, so that, in addition to the consulting work he's done with the team this season, would mean he's not a total neophyte to the business.
Obviously, Mawae's an LSU legend, and his work with the NFL Player's Union would tend to indicate he's not only a highly organized guy, but also persuasive and charismatic, two things that would be huge for recruiting (in addition to his future Hall-of-Fame credentials). Whether that will translate to him getting the job is anybody's guess. That experience factor will still be a question mark, and it's still a huge commitment of time an energy from a guy that's said several times that enjoying time with his family is a huge priority for his post-playing days.
But that's why you have an interview process.
Andy Moeller & Todd Washington, Off. Line Assistants, Baltimore Ravens
These were two of the first names linked to the opening. Moeller is the son of former Michigan head man Gary, which gives him a combined history with both Miles and Cam Cameron, including both the latter's college and pro coordinator stints. The biggest holdup is probably his history of alcohol problems. In terms of credentials, Moeller's most notable include his time as Michigan's offensive line coach from 2002-08, where he worked with players like Jake Long, David Baas and Jonathan Goodwin. Obviously he did a strong enough job to get the call to the Ravens when Jon Harbaugh took the job in early 2008.
Washington is a younger guy with a shorter resume, but he's climbed the ladder pretty quickly from the University of San Diego to the UFL to the Ravens. As Paul and I have said, he fits the profile of a younger, hungry guy that can hit the road hard in recruiting and relate to younger college players. He also played in the NFL for eight years, so that would presumably carry some weight as well.
These two names also indicate that Cameron will have considerable say in this hire, which is of little surprise, really.
Rob Sale, Off. Line Coach, McNeese State
Sale reportedly interviewed earlier this week. Experience might seem like a hang-up, but Sale worked at Alabama for a number of years as an assistant strength coach before moving to McNeese, and most reports have noted that his Cowboys line made a very nice improvement in year one.
Ben Wilkerson, Off. Line Coach, Grambling
The 2004 Rimington Award Winner was reported to have interviewed this weekend, and is in a similar boat to Sale. He worked at LSU for a few seasons as a GA and volunteer assistant to some strong reviews. He's had a difficult run at Grambling, but we all know the stories of the myriad problems that once-proud program is having.
In my opinion, Sale and Wilkerson are two guys that deserved to be interviewed because, at a minimum, they are former players on the upside of their coaching careers. Think of it as checking in on a futures investment. It makes tremendous sense for LSU (not just this coaching staff, but the athletic department in general) to keep tabs on guys like this, because chances are an opening like this is a dream come true. And even if Sale and Wilkerson aren't necessarily right for this job, they might be right for other staff openings in the future, and it's good to keep stock of people like that.
And you never know when you might just get blown away in an interview.
Jeff Grimes, Off. Line Coach, Virginia Tech
It was originally reported that LSU was talking to former Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, but late Friday the attention shifted to Grimes. He's a Texas native, and probably most well-known for his tenure on Gene Chizik's Auburn staff, where he coached that dominant 2010 offensive line. Grimes has also worked with Dirk Koetter at Boise State and Gary Crowton at BYU. I can't say much about the guy, but scuttlebutt has been that Grimes is a solid recruiter in Texas.
Bob Bostad, former Off. Line Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When Football Scoop talks about a "home run," this is who I think of. Frankly, it's kind of stunning that Tampa's not retaining Bostad, given that his lines generally graded well despite a number of injuries (they spent big money on former Saint Carl Nicks and have basically never had him play much). And of course prior to that, Bostad coached Wisconsin's lines from 2006-2011. The reputation of Wiscky's units from those years speaks for itself. Eight players coached or recruited by Bostad during those years went on to be drafted by the NFL.
I would expect LSU to have this hire made by Wednesday when the recruiting dead period ends, but as always, these situations are incredibly fluid. Stay tuned, folks.