Ellis Johnson to Auburn, per multiple reports

There are now multiple reports that Auburn has hired Ellis Johnson as its defensive coordinator.

Johnson was believed to be the top candidate for Florida State.

A source connected with Johnson and the search told me yesterday that Johnson knew that he would be pursued by Florida State, but that Auburn could pay considerably more.

This jives with what I wrote yesterday and last week:

Johnson will be 61 by Christmas. He is an excellent coach of defense, and isn't going to be getting a major head coaching job even if he had a great two-year run at Florida State.

And because of that, money is going to be more important to Johnson than it might be some defensive coordinators. Auburn, Tennessee and Arkansas could pay Johnson about 50-percent more than Florida State could. For that reason, don't expect Johnson to commit to Florida State before those are filled.

If the reports are true, this would be one of the first instances after the new TV deals of a mid-level (not a top-five job) SEC school being able to outbid Florida State for a coach (though I personally do not think this is a new phenomenon).

We'll be discussing this more in the off-season, and will have more DC discussion later today.

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