Denver Broncos assistant coach Jack Del Rio is among the front-runners for the USC Trojans coaching job, several NFL sources have told Bleacher Report.
It's not clear if Del Rio would consider the position, or what USC considers its other options after firing coach Lane Kiffin. What is clear, according to NFL team officials, is that USC considers Del Rio among the top, if not the top, prospects for the position. The school wants him badly.
This doesn't mean Del Rio wants the job.
Del Rio, 50, was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 to 2011 and is a USC alumnus. As the Broncos defensive coordinator since 2012, he's helped to transform Denver's defense into an aggressive, complete unit that has allowed a league-best 43.3 rushing yards per game in 2013.
He's been able to do this without Von Miller (suspended) or Elvis Dumervil, who left for the Ravens in the offseason.
The problem for USC is that, despite being fired in Jacksonville, it's quite possible Del Rio will have opportunities to become a head coach in the NFL again. Many in football view what happened in Jacksonville as more management's fault than Del Rio's.
There was, and remains, a dearth of talent on the Jaguars roster.
At USC, Del Rio played both baseball (catcher) and football (linebacker). He was the MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl. I've spoken to Del Rio many times about USC. There isn't a prouder alum. But he's been linked to USC before and has resisted going back.
My guess: Del Rio holds off on USC for the moment—he may even say he's not interested—but seriously considers the position while his agent quietly gets a feel for what Del Rio's head coaching prospects are in the NFL.