If you ever wondered why Ohio State head coach Ryan Day didn’t fire his shot at bringing former OSU linebacker, and now Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman to the Buckeye program to fix the defense, apparently he did.
According to a report from Football Scoop, the two-week period of Irish head coach Brian Kelly leaving for LSU, and the ascension of Freeman to head coach was a whirlwind. Part of that involved Freeman weighing an offer to join Kelly’s staff in Baton Rouge, but perhaps more interesting, another offer was on the table from Ohio State and Day to become the defensive coordinator at his alma mater. It apparently wasn’t just a nod and wink either, but a rather lucrative verbal offer to do so.
According to John Brice of Football Scoop:
“Per sources, and multiple reports, Kelly offered both Rees and Freeman immediate positions on his Tigers’ inaugural staff.
“Too, Kelly threw large monetary offers – more than either coach was making as Kelly’s top two assistants at Notre Dame – to both coaches.
“Freeman, meanwhile, his coaching star ascendant, had been approached by his alma mater, Ohio State, with an even more lucrative verbal offer as Ryan Day’s defensive coordinator.”
Duke was also reportedly ready to court Freeman for its head coaching vacancy. Someone clearly felt wanted during that time.
We now know that Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was brought on with a hefty price tag of $1.9 million annually to take over the defense in Columbus, and it stands to reason that the offer to Freeman would probably be in the same ballpark, if not more.
Of course, you can’t blame Freeman for taking the head coaching job at one of the most storied and tradition-laden schools in all of college football over a lateral move to his alma mater, but that is nonetheless an interesting song in the game of coaching musical chairs that occurred behind the scenes.
None of this has been reported by Ohio State or Freeman, and we don’t know the sources inside the Notre Dame program that spoke to Football Scoop, but it makes more sense now with the comments Freeman wrote about not making the same mistake twice between the Buckeyes and Irish.
The game to open the season next year for both blue-bloods of the sport was going to be intriguing anyway because of the connections and comments made, but this just adds another layer to the whole thing on September 3 in the ‘Shoe.
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