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Oklahoma Sooners Football / DL Coach Hot Board

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Why it's always difficult to speculate about who will be next in line to coach at OU, we will attempt to connect some coaching dots and offer some intelligent (hopefully) speculation on who might follow Jerry Montgomery in Norman.

There are several assumptions that this article will make.

1- The coach will have 3-4 experience

2- We will try an keep this list to hires that aren't crazy (example Ed Ogeron will not be leaving LSU to come to Norman)

Further regarding recruiting abilities, while Montgomery was elite, the reality is that he was a relative unknown in the recruiting world, prior to ending up in Norman. Several of these candidates do not have the recruiting skins on the wall like Montgomery, but we believe that each would be successful recruiters.

1. Joe Savale'a (Defensive Line Coach at Washington State)

Reasons Why He Makes Sense:

3-4 Experience- Savale'a has experience coaching the 3-4 as that is the base defense for Wazzu

Good Recruiter- While not pulling in elite talent at Wazzu, Savale'a has pulled in some impressive players considering his limitations (you ever been to Pullman).

Familiarity with current Staff- Savale'a was the DL coach in Arizona under Mike Stoops in 2011. He also obviously knows new Sooner WR Coach Dennis Simmons.

Reasons Why He Doesn't Make Sense:

Would he be a splash hire?

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2. Corey Callens (Current Graduate Assistant at OU)

Reasons Why He Makes Sense:

Callens is already familiar with the Sooner program. He also bleeds Crimson and Cream.

Reasons Why He Doesn't Make Sense:

Nothing against Callens, but Oklahoma is not a program where a coach should cut his teeth. While he might end up being the greatest DL coach in the history of college football, the Sooners don't have the luxury to take a flyer on him. They must have an impact hire. Callens needs to spread his wings, get experience, and be brought back when the time is right.

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3. Brick Haley (Former DL Coach at LSU and Current Consultant for LSU Athletic Department)

Reasons Why He Makes Sense:

He has developed numerous NFL defensive lineman. He has NFL experience (Chicago Bears 2007-2009) and is an outstanding recruiter

Reasons Why He Doesn't Make Sense

He was "reassigned" by Les Miles. This does put up a possible red flag, but it's not something that is a deal breaker.

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4. Calvin Thibodeaux (Current DL coach at Kansas)

Reasons Why He Makes Sense:

He is a former player under Bob Stoops.

He is well respected in coaching circles.

Reasons Why He Doesn't Make Sense:

He still lacks the experience for a place like OU. Also not sure how much if any experience he has coaching the 3-4.He wouldn't be a splash hire either.

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5. Tosh Lupoi (OLB Coach at Alabama)

Reasons Why He Makes Sense:

Tosh is a superstar recruiter, with 3-4 DL coaching experience. He coached the DL at both California and Washington. He has worked with the best (Saban).

He would certainly fit the bill as a splash hire.

Reasons Why He Doesn't Make Sense:

He has had quite the checkered past and this might put him on the no hire list. Further he just took a job at Bama as OLB coach.

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6. Chris Wilson (Current DL Coach at USC)

Reasons Why He Makes Sense:

He was previously on the Sooner staff and also has experience coaching at Mississippi State, Georgia, and was just recently hired at USC. He has enjoyed a reasonable amount of success at each of his stops, and is a good recruiter.

Reasons Why He Doesn't Make Sense:

He was just hired at USC. Would he take a lateral move to the Sooners at this point? It seems doubtful