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Report: Former USC defensive line coach Chris Wilson takes over #DLineZou

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

It had been rumored for quite a while, and it appears that Barry Odom is finally landing his choice for defensive line coach.

Wilson's been around the block. Per his USC biography:

Chris Wilson, whose 22-year collegiate coaching career has included handling the defensive line at Oklahoma, Colorado, Mississippi State and Georgia, is in his second year (2014-15) at USC at the defensive line coach. He joined the USC staff in January of 2014. [...]

Wilson, 46, spent 2013 as Georgia's defensive line coach. The Bulldogs, who played in the 2014 Gator Bowl, were 28th nationally in sacks in 2014.

He spent the previous 3 seasons (2010-12) at Mississippi State handling the defensive line. He also was the Bulldogs' co-defensive coordinator in 2010 before becoming defensive coordinator the final 2 years. [...]

Wilson came to Mississippi State after 5 seasons (2005-09) coaching the defensive ends at Oklahoma, his alma mater. He also was the special teams coordinator the final 3 years there. The Sooners led the Big 12 in sacks in 2007 and then in 2009 they were eighth nationally in rushing defense and total defense and seventh in scoring defense. Oklahoma played in the 2005 Holiday Bowl, 2007 and 2008 Fiesta Bowls, 2009 BCS Championship Game and 2009 Sun Bowl.

Before that, he was Colorado's defensive line coach for 5 years (2000-04). The Buffaloes won 3 Big 12 North titles during that time and were 15th nationally in sacks in 2004. Colorado played in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl, 2002 Alamo Bowl and 2004 Houston Bowl. [...]

He was a 4-year (1988-91) letterman linebacker at Oklahoma, recording 303 career tackles. He twice was named team captain. He was a member of Sooners' squads that played in the 1989 Citrus Bowl and 1991 Gator Bowl. He was a 12th round NFL Draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 1992.

He earned his bachelor's degree in communications from Oklahoma in 1992.

At USC, Wilson worked with the three-man front that Odom seems to prefer. The Trojan defenses were still dealing with depth issues associated with NCAA sanctions, but the results were hit-and-miss. As strange as it may feel to say (since we're talking about USC), he'll inherit more proven defensive line talent in Columbia than what he was working with at the Coliseum.

Wilson's name was tied to this job for quite a while, especially after new USC head coach Clay Helton elected to make quite a few changes to his defensive coaching staff. But as with Josh Heupel, Barry Odom not only appears to be getting a relatively experienced hand, he also appears to be getting one of his first choices. Until we're given a reason to assume that Odom doesn't know what he's looking for (and we have no evidence for that at this point), getting first-choice guys is a very good thing. Wilson has experience, both to Missouri's southeast (Georgia) and southwest (Oklahoma), and his name was tied to the recruitment of quite a few big-time talents at USC. To say the least, the position of Missouri defensive line coach has huge shoes to fill following the departure of Craig Kuligowski. We'll see if Wilson's up for the job.

This news means Odom's defensive coaching staff is just about set. Wilson will coach the defensive line, Demontie Cross will coach linebackers and coordinate the defense, and Ryan Walters will remain in some role in the secondary -- either coaching cornerbacks, safeties, or both. Perhaps one more addition will complete this side of the staff.

Wilson's son, a walk-on TE at USC, tweeted this out yesterday afternoon: