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Ellis Johnson reportedly in Auburn for defensive coordinator interview

Gus Malzhan's first interview will be with Ellis Johnson.


A day after his hiring as Auburn head coach, Gus Malzahn will reportedly interview Ellis Johnson for the defensive coordinator position. Johnson will be in Auburn Wednesday, according to Phillip Marshall of Auburn Undercover.

Johnson, 61, is coming off an 0-12 season as head coach at Southern Miss, where he was fired after just one year. Before his brief stay in Hattiesburg, Johnson was a defensive coordinator at three SEC schools in the last 13 years -- Alabama, Mississippi State and South Carolina. With the Gamecocks in 2011, Johnson's defense ranked third in the country, allowing just 267.7 yards per game.

Johnson is a respected defensive mind in the college game, and with positions available at Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida State, he will likely be a hot commodity this offseason. If Malzahn wants Johnson as his DC, it's no surprise the new head coach has already set up an interview fewer than 24 hours into his hiring.