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Sources: Tennessee still pursuing Ohio State coach, Heupel adds another hire


Tennessee's defensive coordinator search remains focused on Ohio State's Al Washington.

Per sources with direct knowledge, the Vols have extended a highly lucrative, multi-year offer to Washington, the Buckeyes' linebackers coach.

According to both Southeastern Conference and Big Ten sources, the deal is said to be a three-year offer with a total value between $1.2 and $1.5 million per year, on average.

Ohio State is countering with an offer of more money for Washington, a Columbus, Ohio, native who played at Boston College, and also could amplify Washington's responsibilities in the Buckeyes' defense.

Though midday it appeared that Ohio State had the inside track to retain Washington, the Vols have not gone quietly away with new coach Josh Heupel and similarly new athletics director Danny White very involved in Tennessee's efforts to land the energetic Washington. Sources who directly know Washington and some who have worked with him said of Washington “He's a great guy” and “the players love him.”

Meanwhile, Heupel continues his staffing overhaul on Rocky Top with continued emphasis on the recruiting department.

Multiple sources confirm to FootballScoop that Tennessee has hired away Jessica Stinger from Colorado State, where she was the Rams' Director of Recruiting for the past year under coach Steve Addazio.

Prior to her work at CSU, Stinger had a stint at Nebraska for one year alongside Scott Frost at his alma mater and previously worked at Middle Tennessee State University.

Additionally, Stinger, an Indiana University journalism graduate, where she was a recruiting assistant for the Hoosiers for three years.

It was there that Stinger's work in Bloomington, Indiana, overlapped with that of Matt Wilson, a former key recruiting assistant at the University of Tennessee who's orchestrated recruiting staffs at Indiana, Mississippi State and now is helping lead Butch Jones' venture back into head coaching at Arkansas State.

Wilson and new staff additions for Heupel at Tennessee, Brandon Lawson and Trey Johnson, all have Tennessee connections.