For a few days, it seemed as if LSU had finally zeroed in on its defensive coordinator hire.

Coach Ed Orgeron was on his second round of interviews after presumed favorite Marcus Freeman left Cincinnati for the same position at Notre Dame. Ryan Nielsen, who coached with Orgeron at Ole Miss, and played for the LSU coach when Orgeron was an assistant at Southern Cal was called a “primary candidate” by Orgeron on a Baton Rouge radio show Tuesday morning.

However, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Fox Sports reported that Nielsen is remaining with New Orleans.

On Monday, Jane Slater of NFL Media reported that LSU was closing in on Nielsen, but following her initial report, Slater then clarified her report, noting that Nielsen’s contract in New Orleans may not allow him to leave the Saints for a college coaching position. She tweeted that the “Saints are currently NOT signing off on this per sources.”

Nielsen just finished his fourth season on the Saints staff. It was his first job in the NFL after 15 years at the collegiate level.

Before the Saints, Nielsen from 2013-2016 was the defensive line/recruiting coordinator/run game coordinator at N.C. State, where he helped multiple players become first-round draft picks in the NFL.

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