Texas Football: 4 early candidates for Horns to replace co-DC Jeff Choate

Coleman Hutzler. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Coleman Hutzler. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports /

Colton Swan, Utah LB coach

An early candidate to watch that the Longhorns could have interest in to replace Choate as the co-DC and linebackers coach next offseason is the fifth-year Utah Utes linebackers coach Colton Swan. Inside Texas mentioned Swan as a potential outside hire for co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Pete Kwiatkowski and the Longhorns to consider as Choate’s replacement hire.

Regarding the evaluation and development of linebacker talent, very few programs do it better at the Power Five level than Utah. Swan and the Utes have produced double-digit All-PAC-12 linebacker selections during his five seasons in Salt Lake City.

Most notably, Swan developed and coached up 2021 All-American and 2022 first-round NFL Draft pick linebacker Devin Lloyd in his first few years on staff as Utah’s LB coach.

Swan really had to earn his paycheck in the last two seasons after Utah had to replace multiple NFL players at linebacker heading into the 2022 campaign. Despite losing multiple NFL and All-PAC-12 linebackers after the 2021 season, Utah had no problem developing and replacing productive players in this room.

In each of the last two seasons, all three starting Utah linebackers graded out among the 10 best LBs in the PAC-12. Utah is the only PAC-12 team to get all three starting linebackers among the 10 highest-graded players at the position in the last two seasons.

Utah’s solid linebacker play has also contributed to the dominance head coach Kyle Whittingham’s squad showed defending the run in the PAC-12 in the last half-decade. Utah had the first or second-best run defense in the PAC-12 in all five seasons during Swan’s time in Salt Lake City as the linebackers coach.

Swan is a clear rising star among Power Five defensive coaches. Texas would get a fantastic hire if they could lure him away from Utah to replace Choate on the defensive staff this coming offseason.

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