LSU is close to hiring its new defensive coordinator — again. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Brett McMurphy of Stadium, the Tigers are expected to hire Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones to lead the team’s defensive unit in 2021.
Jones just completed his first season with the Vikings. He previously held similar positions with the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins in addition to college stops at Wisconsin, Hawaii and UCLA. His last defensive coordinator gig came from the Division II ranks at Bowie State from 2005-09.
Though Jones’ hire has not yet been made official, it appears LSU’s long road to hiring a DC is coming to a close. The Tigers were in the process of finalizing a deal with New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen earlier this month, but language within Nielsen’s contract created a roadblock. The end result was a three-year contract for Nielsen to stay with the Saints.
LSU has been searching for a new defensive coordinator after coach Ed Orgeron fired Bo Pelini in December as part of broader coaching staff changes. One year after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Tigers finished 5-5 while allowing nearly 35 points per game — tied for 10th in the SEC. LSU was particularly abysmal against the pass, allowing an SEC-worst 323 yards through the air per game.