LSU Football: Defensive coordinator option from the NFL for Tigers

LSU football is still looking for a replacement for defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.

LSU football is still looking for a replacement for defensive coordinator Bo Pelini after getting turned down by Marcus Freeman last week.

Freeman left the Cincinnati Bearcats on Friday to join Brian Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame. He had interviewed with the Tigers last week and was considered Ed Orgeron’s top target.

Missing on Freeman means LSU’s search for a new defensive coordinator has essentially reset.

I recently went over a few names that could be strong candidates to replace Pelini.

However, after a recent report from 247Sports, there’s one name I’d like to add to the list.

A name from the NFL.

Could LSU football look to the NFL for their next defensive coordinator?

247Sports reported on Monday that LSU could be “eying some candidates who are still coaching in the NFL playoffs”.

There’s one name still coaching in the playoffs that would make perfect sense for the Tigers.

New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen.

Nielsen played under Orgeron at USC in the late 1990s/early 2000s. He also coached defensive linemen for Orgeron at Ole Miss from 2005-2007.

The former Trojan has been the Saints’ defensive line coach since 2017.

If the Tigers are going to go the NFL route, then Nielsen is the obvious choice (especially since LSU also needs a defensive line coach).

The only problem here is that Nielsen doesn’t have much defensive coordinator experience.

Nielsen was the co-defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois from 2010-211. He was the defensive coordinator at Central Connecticut State from 2008-09. And that’s it as far as his coordinator experience goes.

It’s certainly possible that Coach O will look for someone more experienced than Nielsen. But with the various connections that Nielsen and Orgeron have, this is a name that fans should definitely keep in mind.