In the meantime, now that NSD has past and recruits and their letters of intent are signed, the second round of coaching hires to kick off, including the pending moves for LSU. There's a new GA in town from Arkansas, and there may be another poaching off of the Razorbacks staff within the next few weeks as Les Miles looks for a replacement for the departed Frank Wilson.
There's no real news here, the names mostly associated with the job haven't really changed in the last few weeks, but look for the process to start to progress a little:
- Michael Smith -- wide receivers coach, Arkansas: a New Orleans native who pursued the same position here last year after Adam Henry's departure, Smith has coached backs at Arizona and Kansas State, and was Bret Bielema's lead recruiter on a number of Louisiana prospects in the last cycle, including Kristian Fulton.
- Jabar Juluke -- running backs coach, Texas Tech: Juluke makes a lot of sense as a spiritual successor to Wilson, so to speak, as the former head coach from Edna Karr High School. True, he just took the job at Texas Tech after his first college job at Louisiana Tech, but I'm told his contract has no buyout so if LSU came calling I don't think there'd be anything stopping him.
- David Johnson -- wide receivers coach, Memphis: Leonard Fournette's original high school coach at St. Aug in New Orleans coached running backs at Tulane for a couple of years before leaving to join Mike Norvell's staff. He even managed to get Andre Anthony to take a courtesy official visit.
All three of these guys have heavy New Orleans ties, and I feel comfortable in suggesting that, or at least major ties to Southeast Louisiana, will be a major consideration in the job. The three above are the best bets on the board right now, although as with any coaching search this can all change at any time.
As for a couple of other names that have been thrown around:
- Curtis Johnson -- former head coach, Tulane: he's a legendary wide receivers coach who recruited and developed the fantastic string of Miami Hurricanes through the late 90s and early Aughts, before working with the New Orleans Saints for a couple of years. True, he is available, but he's not really a running backs coach and I don't think college position coaching interests him all that much. I expect him to go back to the NFL.
- Burton Burns -- running backs coach, Alabama: true, he may be the most underpaid member of the Alabama staff, but at 63 years old he's nearly hit the 10-year mark for his vesting in the state pension system, and as we saw with Kevin Steele that's incredibly valuable. Besides, the Tide would almost certainly match an offer from LSU. Barring a particularly ardent desire to return to Louisiana, this seems like a particularly unlikely move.
As for other coaching moves, still no hard word on the Cam Cameron rumors that were posited on National Signing Day. Honestly, based on what I've heard it could go either way. NFL staffs are still being finalized, and after the issues with quarterback recruiting in this last cycle, Cameron may feel like he's better off in the pros, where he wouldn't have to worry about it. Opinions on Cameron tend to vary, but I think given the current state of LSU's offense, and Brandon Harris' development, there's some value in continuity.
Will something happen on that front? Honestly, I'm not sure. I know that there's been some discussion of a move, but beyond that things are still up in the air. I do know that Les Miles would like to keep Cameron around, so any names thrown around are pure speculation at this point. Again, we'll stay on top of things as they change.