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Colorado reportedly hires DJ Eliot as defensive coordinator

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The former Kentucky DC makes his way to Boulder.

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It looks like the wait to find out who the next defensive coordinator of the Colorado Buffaloes is almost over. Football Scoop is reporting that the Buffs have made a hire on the defensive side of the ball. Almost exactly a month after Leavitt left, it looks like CU has started to rebuild its defensive staff. And the beginning hire was DJ Eliot, the young coach formerly at Kentucky.

Eliot would head to Boulder familiar with the area, having played at Wyoming near the turn of the millennia in 1999. From there, he had extended stops in Texas, working with Houston (GA), Texas State (DB and LB coach), and Rice (DL coach and recruiting coordinator). Sprinkled in between those Lone Star State jobs were short stops at Miami (GA) and Tulsa (LB coach). After Rice is where Eliot made his bacon. He was hired in 2010 to be Florida State’s DE coach, and presided over some dominant pass rushers and recruited some high level talent. Florida State won a national championship with his players. He followed Florida State’s DC, Mark Stoops, to Kentucky, where he became defensive coordinator and linebacker coach. Play-calling duties were given back to now HC Stoops three games into this year after a struggling start.

Eliot has been known as a strong recruiter throughout all of his coaching stops, and his defensive ends were top-notch players that got great pressure. He coached Bud Dupree at Kentucky, who turned into a 1st round pick, so he has the pedigree. Perhaps the most attractive quality for DJ Eliot is his deep Texas connections, specifically in Houston. For a team like the Buffs trying to increase their profile in Texas, Eliot would be a great hire. His coordinator abilities remain a question mark, but that is much easier to teach than recruiting. Plus, CU’s very own Coach MacIntyre was an award winning DC in his day, so he’s learning from the best in Stoops and Mac. He also runs the same scheme as Colorado, an aggressive 3-4, so he fits the x’s and o’s. If he fits the culture, his recruiting should provide a boon for CU, and if his defense struggles, he has one of the best minds in the business to talk to.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.