Last week, multiple outlets reported that Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees would be leaving for the same position at Alabama.
While Alabama has not yet officially announced the hire, there is plenty of speculation concerning who might replace Rees at Notre Dame (Rees’ name has been removed from Notre Dame football’s website).
Earlier this week, Football Scoop’s John Brice wrote a story with a list of potential candidates, and two with Utah Utes ties are on it.
Those two are current offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and Brian Johnson, the latter of whom played for the Utes from 2004-2008, then was a coach on the hill from 2010-2013 (including a season as offensive coordinator) and is now the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterbacks coach as they get ready to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
According to Brice, Ludwig is among five coaches from the collegiate ranks whom Notre Dame has been looking at.
The other four are Washington OC Ryan Grubb (who reportedly turned down the Alabama OC job), Toledo head coach Jason Candle, new Colorado OC Sean Lewis and “at least one other high-level Power-5 offensive coordinator.”
As for candidates from the NFL, Brice wrote that “most chatter has focused around Notre Dame’s potential interest in former Tampa Bay Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who starred collegiately at Marshall, as well as Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson.”
Regarding Johnson, Brice wrote that he “is expected to potentially be in demand for multiple NFL openings” and added that if Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen gets a head coaching job, Johnson could replace him.
In between his time as a coach at Utah and landing with the Eagles in 2021, Johnson had college stops at Mississippi State, Houston and Florida.
Regarding Ludwig, Brice wrote that he “is the most experienced of this group of sourced candidates. An Ogden, Utah, native, Ludwig has coordinated offenses at a trio of Pac-12 schools — California, Oregon and Utah (twice) — as well as in the Big Ten (Wisconsin) and Southeastern Conference (Vanderbilt).”
Brice quoted a former colleague of Ludwig’s who said Notre Dame hiring him would be “potentially a home run.”