If there's one thing that's certain about Gus Malzahn, it's that he plays coaching searches close to the vest.
Last season, we knew Will Muschamp was the primary target. We didn't know any details about when it might happen, how often they had spoken, etc. We also didn't know any certain answers on who other targets would be if Muschamp didn't work out. Everyone was on their toes just waiting for the announcement to drop.
It finally did late at night, around 11pm. Word began leaking fast, and then Auburn made the announcement shortly afterwards.
Today, we know next to nothing. If you want to know why I haven't been talking too much about the search, it's because their hasn't been much of anything to report. We know FSU's Charles Kelly is still the main target, in spite of the report from a few days ago that he was reportedly staying at FSU. Yes, FSU fans, Auburn has continued to talk and he has continued to listen.
Message board posters who claim to have info seem confident. I don't place too much confidence in message board posters, though. Phillip Marshall says a decision will likely come one way or the other either today or tomorrow. I'll say that given all the signs, I'm a bit more optimistic Kelly will be the new defensive coordinator this morning than I was yesterday afternoon.
If he decides to stay at FSU - which is still very much a possibility, if not a probability - then who does Auburn turn to next? It's behind the paywall, but it's been 24 hours and I've seen others mention it on Twitter (plus the AuburnUndercover Twitter account had his picture for the article when it was tweeted), but Penn State's Bob Shoop is on Gus Malzahn's radar. I mentioned him all the way back when the first Muschamp to South Carolina rumors came out. I'd still say we ought to give a look to their Co-DC, Brent Pry, as well. I think highly enough of Pry that I wanted him to be the head coach at Georgia Southern two years ago before Willie Fritz was hired.
After that? Other than linebackers coach Lance Thompson, it's anyone's guess. Thompson has been huge for Auburn on the recruiting trail and would provide consistency on defensive scheme. Auburn needs to keep Thompson on the staff if they can no matter what happens.
I could provide the same lists I have in my previous articles, but really I'd just be throwing names against the wall and hoping they stick. I don't have any insiders with the team, and even the writers who do don't seem to be getting much information.
Hopefully it's all resolved very soon, though. The dead period in recruiting begins next Monday, and Auburn wants a new DC to be able to contact recruits before that period begins. That's especially important when it comes to people like 4* DT Antwuan Jackson, who is an early enrollee.
Of course, then we might just turn right back around and be talking about a search for an offensive coordinator, too. I think that should be a quick one, personally. Promote Dameyune Craig, let him coach QBs, hire a WR coach.