LSU assistants’ pay leads nation for 2nd-straight year; extensions in works _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU head coach Les Miles, left, talks with defensive coordinator John Chavis before the Sam Houston State game Sept. 6. Chavis and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron have a $1.3 million salary this year.

For the second straight year, LSU’s group of nine assistant coaches have a combined pay that leads the nation, and extensions are in the works for at least some of them.

LSU’s assistant salary pool is $5.38 million, eclipsing Alabama’s $5.19 million, according to a list of rankings from USA Today. Auburn’s assistants make $4.64 million for third. Clemson and Oklahoma round out the top five.

Some, if not all, of LSU’s assistant coaches have been offered contract extensions by LSU, multiple sources told The Advocate. LSU athletic director Joe Alleva declined to comment on contracts when asked last week.

Five assistant coaches have contracts expiring in March 2015: Recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson, defensive line coach Brick Haley, receivers coach Adam Henry, defensive backs coach Corey Reymond and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger.

LSU has two assistant coaches in the top three nationally among all college football assistants. Defensive coordinator John Chavis and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron are tied for third with a salary of $1.3 million each.

Clemson is the only other school with two assistants in the top 11 nationally.

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s $1.36 million salary leads the nation among assistant coaches. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, at $1.35 million, is second.

All of LSU’s assistant coaches made the top 180 nationally among nearly 1,200 assistants listed in USA Today’s rankings.

Wilson has the third-highest on the staff at $650,000 per year. Haley makes $440,000 per year. Grimes makes $377,500, and Peveto has a base salary of $360,000.

Henry ($330,000), Raymond ($310,000) and Ensminger ($310,000) round out the staff.

Staff members, according to USA Today, made more than $100,000 in combined outside income this past year in addition to their above base salary. It ranged from as high as $19,634 (Henry) to as low as $12,300 (Chavis).

Grimes and Peveto, hired this year, have deals that run through March 2017. Cameron’s deal ends March 31, 2016. Chavis’ deal ends Dec. 31, 2015.

Kelly picks Rebels

LSU’s flirtation with former Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly is over.

Kelly, now at East Mississippi Community College, committed to Ole Miss on Wednesday, according to his Twitter account.

LSU never offered Kelly a scholarship, a source told The Advocate, but the Tigers had interest in the QB, Kelly confirmed last week to The Sun Herald.

LSU’s quarterback situation was an unstable one this season, and the Tigers have just two scholarship QBs on scholarship with a third joining this spring as part of the 2015 class. Schools normally have four scholarship quarterbacks.

Kelly, a Buffalo, New York, native, signed with Clemson as the nation’s No. 5 dual-threat QB in 2012. He was dismissed from the team in April after reportedly fighting with the coaching staff during the spring game.

Kelly threw for 434 yards and five touchdowns in leading East Mississippi to a junior college national championship last week. He finished the year passing for 3,905 yards and 47 touchdowns and completed 67 percent of his passes.

Collins grabs award

Three days, three honors.

LSU senior left tackle La’el Collins won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given to the Southeastern Conference’s most outstanding blocker.

Collins becomes the sixth LSU player to win the award, and the award comes on the heels of him making the All-SEC AP and coaches teams on Monday and Tuesday.

Collins, a three-year starter for the Tigers, is projected as a mid-to-late first-round NFL draft pick.

Collins and LSU (8-4) will meet Notre Dame (7-5) in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee, on Dec. 30.

Martin in East-West Shrine

LSU senior safety Ronald Martin has accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, joining other LSU players Jermauria Rasco, Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter: @DellengerAdv. For more coverage of LSU football, follow our Tiger Tracks blog.