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Report: Penn State Defensive Coordinator Bob Shoop in Knoxville

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The Penn State defensive coordinator has been a top target for Butch Jones and Tennessee.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

We've been through so many of these coaching and coordinator changes in the last decade, it's been rare to see the name with the most immediate smoke actually catch fire.  Penn State and former Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has been that guy from even before the move was officially made on John Jancek.  And today:

The money part would mean a significant increase in what Tennessee has been paying its coordinators.  Last year Feldman reported Shoop would receive a three year deal at close to a million dollars per year from Penn State after LSU came knocking. That's around twice what Tennessee was paying John Jancek, plus the buyout.

Penn State finished 7-6 in 2015, but things are looking up in terms of getting back to normal in scholarship numbers.  James Franklin has been building momentum there in recruiting, but Tennessee's momentum is now fully built with the Vols looking to win championships next season.  This was, to at least some degree, part of the reasoning behind moving from a good defensive coordinator to what Butch Jones and Tennessee hope will be a great one.

Is Bob Shoop a great one?  The initial reaction to Shoop's name being in the mix seems to find him clearly in the "upgrade" category.  Though Penn State's last regular season outing was a forgettable one in giving up 55 to Michigan State, the short-handed Nittany Lions still finished the year ranked 15th in yards per play allowed.  They were third in that category in 2014 and in the Top 25 every year Shoop and Franklin were at Vanderbilt.

Just getting in the conversation with Shoop also means Dave Hart and Tennessee are willing to pay to be on par with other elite SEC programs in terms of coordinator salaries.  This is another good sign for the health of the program overall.

Nothing appears to be a done deal here, but Tennessee is obviously pursuing Shoop and he is obviously listening.  We'll see where it goes from here, but it would be hard to see this move not being met with praise from the Tennessee faithful as the Vols look for very big things in 2016.