Texas Football: 5 best candidates to be next defensive coordinator

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(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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2. Jim Leonhard

Current Position: Wisconsin defensive coordinator

Now I’m starting to hit on the rising stars in the defensive coaching ranks that would really be long-term home run hires for the Texas football program. Hitting on the younger candidates that the Longhorns could snag might be the way to go. This is the time that Herman needs to be getting long-term solutions set in place on his coaching staff.

If the Longhorns want to go for a home run hire out of the Big Ten, look no further than a Broyles Award Semifinalist and Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. He is one of less than five defensive coordinators that was named one of the 15 Semifinalists for the Broyles Award this season.

As one of the younger names on this list, Leonhard would continue to give the Longhorns fans constant fresh ideas and different schemes. He led a Wisconsin defense that was one of the most suffocating in the entire country this season. They rank as the nation’s No. 12 defense in terms of overall efficiency so far this season. That is a big improvement after they ranked No. 35 in defensive efficiency last season.

Leonhard is just in his third year as a defensive coordinator. He was a defensive backs coach with Wisconsin under head coach Paul Chryst in 2016 following the end of his NFL playing career. He was a safety with Wisconsin when he played his college ball and spent his NFL career between seven different teams, including the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.