The LSU defensive coordinator search continues through the week. It might not seem like there's been much movement, but that's because Les Miles is keeping things under his hat (seriously, how have none of the beat writers made that joke yet?) without too much leaking out.
People are antsy, and I think with lack of news there's a perception that nothing is happening, which of course couldn't be farther from the truth. Know how people always like to say things like "coaches will line up to work here!" They are...they just don't necessarily want everybody to know. Sure, a guy like Mike Stoops might want to be as publicly connected with this job, but not everybody is in that position. Some have jobs they like. Maybe they're not sure what their chances are of getting the job and don't want to risk anything. Or maybe they just signed an extension and don't want to be seen as immediately pursuing something else (even if it's a better job). Miles is talking to plenty of candidates, but he's keeping it discreet.
Here's what we know as of this morning:
- On Monday, Les Miles and the coaching staff met. The coordinator search was of course discussed, along with recruiting, offseason schedule, junior defections, etc...It is believed that the promotion of Brick Haley was discussed. How likely of a scenario that is, I don't know. But I know this much -- Haley passed on the Mississippi State coordinator job and is staying at LSU, be it in position coach or higher capacity.
- As these Advocate reports indicate, Haley's promotion would likely entail him coaching linebackers and open up a position for a defensive line coach. Ed Orgeron has expressed interest there. He still says he has not been approached for the coordinator position. Per his interview Tuesday morning, he would be happy accepting a position coaching job. Orgeron still has not been contacted by LSU in any capacity though, and that likely wouldn't happen unless the d-line job comes open. Translation: he's probably not coming if LSU makes an external coordinator hire.
- D.J. Durkin's name emerged as a potential candidate in some circles, but with news Tuesday afternoon that he's accepted the defensive coordinator gig at Michigan, he's unavailable. Durkin's been linked to Jim Harbaugh's staff for a few days, but with Greg Mattison on hand and a rumored pursuit of Stanford's Lance Anderson, there were some questions on what capacity he'd be in, giving LSU something to offer.
- Tuesday afternoon also brought confirmation that there's mutual interest with Penn State Defensive Coordinator Bob Shoop, and he's expected to interview. More on Shoop here from Paul.
- Other names that have been connected to the job either include Alabama's Kevin Steele, Louisville's Todd Grantham, Greg Schiano and former UAB head coach Bill Clarke. Nothing solid on any of these guys yet besides rumors, but I still doubt that Steele is getting too much consideration given his close relationship with John Chavis.
- At this point, I don't think the only thing I feel confident predicting is that Miles will talk to as many people as he can and then make his decision. I don't know that the order is relevant to anything other than time, and I don't think Miles even has a real pecking order right now. He's just exploring options before he decides. Again, the end of the recruiting dead period next Wednesday is likely the target to have all this squared away.
One final note on the oft-discussed transfer rumors: Shea Dixon of Geaux247 put some cold water on the Everett Golson talk Tuesday afternoon on the radio. What it simply comes down to is this -- if LSU's going to bring in competition for Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, it has to be somebody that can compete right now. Golson won't finish up at Notre Dame until May, so even if they are willing to release him to transfer, he won't arrive at a new campus until June. Meaning no spring practice, and no real coaching from his new staff until August.
On the Braxton Miller front, timing is still an issue. He's a mid-term graduate, so he's available to leave Ohio State now for a new school, but the question is health. Miller's season was ended by a pretty serious injury to his throwing shoulder, and folks on the Ohio State side are saying he further aggravated it. He's won't be able to even throw the ball until July, and that's if the shoulder regains its former strength. There's no guarantee that it will, and with his athleticism, a position change isn't out of the question, which raises the possibility that he may just stay at Ohio State. So ask yourself the question: if you're going to take a high-profile, who's likely going to expect to be able to take the starting job, wouldn't you prefer the player be healthy enough to actually practice? That's a lot of faith to place in a player, even one that's had Miller's level of success. LSU's probably better off trying to develop what they have on hand.
Of course, that could change if Miller checks out physically. And if Ohio State even releases him to another national power. There's also still a lot of expectation that he'd prefer Oregon, who likely loses Marcus Mariota after they square off with the Buckeyes next Monday.