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Report: Tennessee Makes 'Highly Lucrative' Offer To Ohio State Assistant

Tennessee football head coach Josh Heupel at his introductory press conference.

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To fill his defensive coordinator position, new Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel is taking a big swing. According to reports, he is afterOhio State linebackers coach Al Washington to be the team's new DC.

Washington has been with the Buckeyes since 2018. He made the jump over from Michigan, where he coached linebackers for a year. In 2017, he was the defensive line coach at Cincinnati, after a five year stint at Boston College, coaching special teams, defensive line, and for a few years in the middle, running backs.

According to Football Scoop, Tennessee football has offered Washington a three-year deal "with a total value between $1.2 and $1.5 million per year, on average." USA Today's database shows that Washington makes $515,000 at Ohio State, though he did take a slight reduction this year due to COVID-19.

Tennessee has been a very turbulent program in recent years, and Washington is a Columbus native coaching in his hometown. The chance to lead a defense in the SEC and more than double his salary may be tough to turn down.

He's also one of Ryan Day's top recruiters. Ohio State is always going to lose its lower-level assistants to jobs like this, but it sounds like Ohio State will fight to keep Washington in Columbus.

From Football Scoop:

Ohio State is countering with an offer of more money for Washington, a Columbus, Ohio, native who played at Boston College, and also could amplify Washington’s responsibilities in the Buckeyes’ defense.

Though midday it appeared that Ohio State had the inside track to retain Washington, the Vols have not gone quietly away with new coach Josh Heupel and similarly new athletics director Danny White very involved in Tennessee’s efforts to land the energetic Washington. Sources who directly know Washington and some who have worked with him said of Washington “He’s a great guy” and “the players love him.”

Josh Heupel's hire as Tennessee football head coach was greeted with mixed reactions, but poaching a top up-and-coming coach and elite recruiter like Al Washington would certainly help get people on board here during the early days of his tenure.

[Football Scoop]