After a dismal defensive year in 2020, the LSU Tigers seem to be locked in on a new defensive coordinator.
According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Ed Orgeron will bring on Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones to head the team’s defense in 2021. The two spent the day interviewing and the Tigers head coach left impressed.
Jones spent just one year as Minnesota’s defensive backs coach, but has been working with NFL secondaries for the past five years. He lasted two years as the lead cornerbacks coach with the Cincinnati Bengals prior to joining the Vikings. Before that, he worked for two seasons as an assistant with the Dolphins, helping to develop one of the best secondaries in the leagues.
Prior to his experience in the NFL, Jones was somewhat of a journeyman. With a handful of stops at the college level, one in the Canadian Football League and one with Division II Bowie State, the secondary specialist spoke about the importance of being open to any opportunity.
“Just try to be the best at where you are, and everything else will take its course, if that’s what God has for you,” Jones said in an interview with the Star Tribune this fall per 247Sports. “Whether it be the high school level, the Division II level or even in the CFL, it doesn’t really matter. … If opportunities present themselves, then they present themselves.”
SOURCE: #Vikings DB coach Daronte Jones is expected to become the new DC at #LSU. Jones, a protege of Dave Aranda coached under the ex Tigers DC when he was at Wisconsin. Jones, who spent the day interviewing w/ Ed Orgeron, was DC for 5 yrs at Bowie St. and had the No. 1 D in D2.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 25, 2021
The hire ends a lengthy saga that began after LSU fired 2020 defensive coordinator Bo Pelini after a disappointing campaign following the 2019 national title. The Tigers went 5-5 and finished fourth in the SEC West.
From there, Orgeron zeroed in on Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen. The talented young assistant had a previous relationship with the LSU head coach, making him a natural choice for the gig. After reports surfaced that Nielsen would accept the job, he backtracked and chose to stay with the Saints. No official reason was given, leaving LSU fans wistful of what could’ve been an impressive hire.
After all of the offseason drama, Jones will end up the man for Orgeron’s LSU squad. Time will tell if he can help restore the program to national prominence.
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