Hugh Freeze on Wednesday in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl confirmed the hire of DJ Durkin as defensive coordinator.

Freeze shared that there was plenty of interest in the job, and he enjoyed spending time with Durkin and his wife, Sarah.

“They’re great individuals and people I think are going to bring so much experience and value to our building and to our defense,” Freeze said. “So I’m really excited about having D.J.”

Freeze also likes how Durkin approaches coaching defense in modern college football.

“I’ve often felt like defensive guys in today’s time should maybe coach defense, verbiage wise, more like offensive guys,” Freeze said. “And he’s one of the first ones when I had the entire staff in there — offense and defense — it was like, oh my goodness, his verbiage is the most simple, but it’s multiple. But it’s so easy to understand exactly what’s going on once you get the base.”

Freeze later said that Durkin fit the Auburn culture.

“I loved his passion and his drive. I think our practices will look quite different with him because I’ve watched some of his practice tape. He’s pretty into it and energetic. And I love that about him.”

Durkin’s SEC experience is nearly unparalleled, as he’s been the defensive coordinator at 4 different schools. However, many of the questions about his hire center on Outside of the SEC, Durkin is most known nationally for his stint at Maryland as head coach from 2016 to 2017 when there were accusations of a toxic culture, and the tragic death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair after a workout.

H/T Ainslie Lee.