We thought Auburn’s 2021 coaching staff was complete. Bryan Harsin formally announced the 2021 staff last Thursday at a press conference. Included in those announcements was Tracy Rocker, whom Harsin described as someone who “bleeds orange and blue”.
Sunday afternoon, reports emerged that Rocker had accepted the DL gig at the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sources: The Philadelphia Eagles have targeted Auburn's Tracy Rocker to be the new defensive line coach. He's expected to join Jonathan Gannon's defensive staff in Philadelphia.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 24, 2021
These reports were later confirmed by AuburnUndercover’s Phillip Marshall and AuburnSports’s Jay G Tate. That’s the 2nd time this off-season that Rocker has been announced by a head coach as part of his staff only to be gone the next week.
So now Bryan Harsin has one more position to fill. Given how all the previous hires have gone, attempting to predict who is interviewing, let alone who might land the job would be an exercise in futility. Good thing I enjoy exercise.
Some potential DL candidates:
A former Auburn standout, Brumbaugh has coached DL at a number of Power 5 programs including Kentucky, Maryland, Colorado and recently Tennessee. He was let go by Pruitt just four games into the 2020 season over supposed philosophical differences. Maybe Brumbaugh isn’t a McDonalds fan?
The last non Auburn player to coach the DL was Terry Price in 2008 so it’s a safe guess to go with an alum with SEC experience.
Les Miles’s former long time DL coach at LSU parted ways with Missouri earlier this month. He’s been linked to the open DL position in Fayetteville but was also a name that was mentioned early in Bryan Harsin’s search. Maybe he becomes a bigger target round 2?
Probably the flashiest name on the board, Lupoi has been linked to numerous job openings, specifically Texas and Oregon DC positions, but none have come through. There are still rumors that he could join Sark’s staff in Austin but maybe a strong offer from Harsin could get the ace recruiter back in the SEC.
Kiffin played a key role in those monster recruiting classes Hugh Freeze signed back in the early 2010s. Granted that role landed him on the NCAA naughty list and he left for the NFL in 2018 but who hasn’t colored outside the lines before in the SEC? His show clause ended in 2019 so maybe he’s interested in returning to the collegiate ranks.
If Auburn is aiming to hire an up & comer, So’oto would not be a bad choice. He’s currently the DL coach at USC with previous experience at Virginia. He reportedly was a candidate the first go around though I am not sure if he ever officially interviewed or not. I’d be a big fan of the move as So’oto has shown some early signs of being a very good recruiter.
Udeze was Derick Mason’s OLB coach his final season at Vanderbilt and has now taken an assistant role for the Titans. He has previous experience working as the DL coach at USC. I would be surprised if Harsin went this direction given his first choice being an experienced DL coach with a history of success in the SEC. But after getting burned by Rocker maybe they will want to bring in someone they really trust.
He’s currently South Carolina’s defensive line coach.