What has long been rumored has now come to fruition, as multiple reports are stating John Chavis will leave LSU for the same position at Texas A&M. FootballScoop can confirm the same.
Put simply, this is a home run hire for Kevin Sumlin. Chavis checks all the boxes. He's the most proven commodity on the market - Chavis has coached continuously in the SEC since 1989, and served as a coordinator since 1995 - that, though he doesn't do much recruiting himself, still brings enough cache to resonate with recruits.
Winner of both the FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year and the Broyles Award in 2011, Chavis' defenses have never ranked lower than 27th nationally in yards per play allowed (with two top 10 finishes) in yards per play allowed since his arrival in 2009. Moreover, the Tigers posted five finishes of 12th or better in scoring defense in his six years on campus, and ranked third this season.
Nabbing Chavis is a diabolical strategic move for Sumlin. It's a blow at an SEC West rival that has vexed the Aggies like no other opponent in their three years in the division. Texas A&M averaged 312 yards and 15 points in its three meetings with LSU (all losses) since joining the SEC in 2012, while averaging 520 yards and 38 points against the rest of the SEC.
His defenses are fast, long, and lean, perfectly sculpted to defend the type of offense Texas A&M and, increasingly, the rest of the SEC runs.
Texas A&M will almost certainly overpay for Chavis but, considering the Aggies are in the middle of a half a billion dollar project to rebuild Kyle Field, there's really no such thing as overpaying for top coaching talent. For A&M and Kevin Sumlin, the cost of going 8-5 again would be much higher than the few extra thousand dollars they plunked to pull Chavis out of Baton Rouge. (For the record, Chavis made $1.3 million at LSU in 2014, trailing only Alabama's Kirby Smart among FBS assistants. The Baton Rouge Advocate reported this week the Bayou Bengals offered to bump that to $1.33 million.)
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.