Gus Malzahn reportedly offers Ellis Johnson defensive coordinator position

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn may be on the verge of hiring his first staff member, potential defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

Auburn Undercover has been on top of the Ellis Johnson rumors, and now the site is reporting that Gus Malzahn has offered Johnson the Tigers' defensive coordinator position ($):

Johnson visited the Auburn campus on Wednesday and was offered the job by new head coach Gus Malzahn. He is considering his options and will likely have a decision quickly.

Florida State is also pursuing Johnson for its vacancy at defensive coordinator. The Seminoles lost Mark Stoops when Stoops took the head coaching job at Kentucky. If Johnson's decision comes down to money, it's likely the Tigers have an advantage. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher is reportedly working on a new deal, and with Malzahn's salary at $2.3 million per year, Auburn should have plenty of money for the rest of the coaching staff.

Johnson is a respected defensive coach, having led South Carolina to the nation's third-best total defense in 2011. At 61, the biggest question about Johnson has to do with how well he can recruit, but if Malzahn builds an excellent recruiting staff around him, that shouldn't be a problem.

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