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LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda calls out to LSU linebacker Patrick Queen (8) and LSU linebacker Jared Small (58) before kickoff against Notre Dame, Monday, January 1, 2018, in the Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

The Advocate's LSU beat writer Ross Dellenger appeared on 104.5 KNNX-FM's "Off the Bench" with Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Hebert on Thursday morning to discuss Dave Aranda's decision to again spurn Texas A&M to remain with LSU.

The Advocate reported late Wednesday evening that the Tigers' defensive coordinator had the Aggies hot on his heels, but LSU again turned the tables to keep him in Baton Rouge.

Read below for excerpts. To listen to the entire interview, click here

Q: How long had these negotiations been going on?

A: "It was at least the second time … [at lunch on New Year's Eve at Universal Studios] I get a text, we're in Universal Studios, and I get a message that says 'Aranda's gone to A&M' … Obviously he had not made a deal -- a decision yet. But by that night he had, and he turned it down. He turned whatever it was down. I guess LSU had changed his mind in some way, maybe. And then I'm guessing over the last 36-48 hours they came again and this time it was probably a little better of an offer, it sounds like. And LSU had to kind of rush -- and again just like the New Year's Eve text about 'hey, he's gone' -- I think yesterday, midday, he was probably gone. And I think LSU, it sounds like, rushed to the bargaining table and got it done. And there's not a bigger move than what LSU did to keep Dave Aranda over the last year or two. There's not a bigger impact. That guy is very important to the program."

Q: What was the negotiation like from LSU's side?

A: "One of [A&M's rumored] big offers being, 'hey, you can control your staff and hire who you want.' And I heard that big number as well, like $3.5 million a year, and I never reported it. Because it's one thing to get that from LSU people, but it's another thing to get it from the people who are actually offering it. I never was able to get it from the other side, so I kind of held off on it and lo and behold, that number was well wrong. It was in the low $2Ms, is what I'm understanding. It did not climb over 2.5. But to get back to what else LSU offered him, I don't know, and I haven't been able to get that. But I can tell you this: I'm sure Dave Aranda got everything he wanted. Whatever he wanted, he got. If it is control of the staff. If it is to hire a safeties coach, he got it. Whatever it is, he got it. I'm sure he can control in whatever way, LSU's staff. We all know Pete Jenkins left, and they moved Dennis Johnson down, so that leaves one assistant coaching spot open for the defensive side of the ball. And I'm sure that Dave Aranda will pick who that person is. Like I said, whatever he wanted he got, and I'm sure he wanted input on that, and I'm sure he'll get it."

Q: Is Aranda the 'head coach in waiting?'

A: "No, not at all. I can see where people would maybe say that. because as far as percentages, like what percent Dave Aranda makes of Ed Orgeron's salary, it's probably the highest in the nation of any coordinator-head coach. For those who listen and who don't know, Ed makes $3.5 million per year, now Dave will make $2.5M. I'm sure it is the highest, percentage wise between a head coach and a coordinator. I don't think that they made him that promise, but I'm not completely sure. Like I said, I didn't get a hold of anything non-monetary that Dave got … But I'll say this: When you have a head-coach-in-waiting title stuff, you usually have a head coach in waiting for a head coach who's like 68-75 years old. Ed Orgeron's sitting there at 56, I'm not even sure Ed Orgeron -- although he loved Dave Aranda, wanted to keep him -- would've said 'yea, let's just give this guy a head-coach-in-waiting title and he can just sit there behind me ready to pounce.' It doesn't make a whole lot of sense on that front."

Q: Who's LSU's next OC?

A: "It's too early to answer that question."

Q: Will Matt Canada be LSU's OC next year?

A: "Absolutely not. There's no way. I can't sit here and say that the deal is done. That they've decided and signed on the line to terminate and all that. It hasn't been done yet. But it's going to be done here soon … we're talking a lot of money at stake here. $3M until Matt Canada goes. So LSU is doing their due diligence here, and they're trying to handle it appropriately … I think we're going to see a resolution to that very, very soon."


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