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Sources: LSU on verge of nabbing top DC

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Arguably the biggest prize in the 2020-21 coordinator sweepstakes is close to finalizing a deal with LSU.

Multiple sources tell FootballScoop that heralded Cincinnati defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman is expected to join Ed Orgeron's overhauled staff in the same position and as one of the highest-paid defensive signal-callers in college football.

Freeman's an Ohio native, former standout player for the Ohio State Buckeyes and, after a brief professional career in the NFL, has carved an incredibly fast-rising coaching track.

His defenses in each of the past three years at Cincinnati have been among the nation's best, with Freeman tutoring multiple All-American Athletic Conference defensive selections and All-American honors in the Bearcats' secondary.

Freeman had emerged on the defensive coordinator wish-lists of multiple prestigious programs across college football, including Michigan, Notre Dame and even some mention at Texas, where new coach Steve Sarkisian is assembling his inaugural staff.

Freeman this week had initial video interviews with both LSU and Notre Dame – Zoom sessions with each – before he then visited each campus in person with his entire family.

Sources said LSU ferried Freeman to and from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, midweek on a university-chartered private jet, and multiple sources confirmed Freeman spent the entire day Tuesday at Notre Dame visiting the South Bend, Indiana, campus with his family.

Earlier this week, Orgeron worked towards the close of his offensive staff transformation when he hired Jake Peetz as offensive coordinator and D.J. Mangas as the Tigers' passing game coordinator.

Sources confirmed to FootballScoop that Freeman's new deal once finalized would take the coach from a roughly $600,000 salary at Cincinnati “far closer” to the $2 million range.

Sources tell FootballScoop the term sheet is expected to be finalized today.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.

Update> Sources tell FootballScoop Notre Dame has made a strong run at Freeman this afternoon. Stay tuned...

Further update> Notre Dame got their man!