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Report: Ohio State's Al Washington Decides On Tennessee Job

Ohio State players run onto the field before a game in September.

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 24: The Ohio State Buckeyes take the field before their game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium on October 24, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Currently in the midst of a program rebuild, newly-hired head coach Josh Heupel and the Tennessee Volunteers heavily pursued Ohio State'sAl Washington for the defensive coordinator role this offseason.

Despite receiving a three-year contract offer with an average value of $1.2-1.5 million per year, Washington has reportedly elected to retain his linebackers coach position on the Buckeyes' staff. The original report on the decision came from GoVols247 and was later followed up by Football Scoop.

Washington landed his first major Power Five coaching job when he took over as special teams and defensive line coach at his alma mater, Boston College, in 2012. From there, the former defensive tackle served one year under Luke Fickell at Cincinnati (2017) and one year under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan (2018). In 2019, Washington was hired to Ryan Day's first staff as Ohio State's head coach.

Washington's Buckeye linebackers had a solid 2020-21 season. While the OSU secondary left a lot to be desired (allowing 304 passing yards per game), the front line was stout -- allowing just 97.6 rushing yards per game. It's no surprise the Volunteers were looking to poach the up-and-coming coaching talent.

But, with his decision to decline -- Tennessee will now have to look elsewhere for a new DC.

According to Football Scoop, UT has reached out to Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach and former Volunteer star Kacy Rodgers. Fresh off a Super Bowl victory, Rodgers has reportedly fielded multiple Zoom calls from the program.

As spring training approaches, Tennessee needs to get move on if they want to fill Heupel's staff before things get even more disjointed.