Today, just days after landing his dream job, new LSU head coach Ed Orgeron locked up perhaps his important hire as reports state that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will be staying on board with a multi-year deal.
Aranda is adding the title of associate head coach under the new deal, and it also includes a raise. Back in January, when Aranda left Wisconsin for LSU, he was given a three-year deal worth $1.2 million.
Keeping Aranda around is huge for Orgeron because it provides a sense of continuity for a defense that is loaded with talent. LSU's defense ranked 4th in the SEC in 2016, allowing just over 16 points per game (behind Alabama, Florida, Auburn, LSU).
The hire is also significant because of the message it sends to fans, recruits, and the rest of the SEC and college football. By staying, Aranda is effectively saying that he whole heartedly believes in the leadership and direction that Orgeron brings to the table, and that's a powerful message when you're one of the most respected defensive coordinators in the game.
What Orgeron decides to do on the offensive side of the ball remains to be seen, and one could argue what he decides to do there is equally as important as locking up Aranda based on the offensive issues that plagued the team last season and under Les Miles earlier this year. Steve Ensminger stepped in and did a tremendous job in that role under Orgeron, but we'll see what O does there in the coming days or weeks.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest at LSU, and beyond.