January 30, 2023

Mel Tucker has hired a new defensive line coach for Michigan State Football, Diron Reynolds. What is he bringing to the table?

After weeks of sifting through candidates following Marco Coleman’s departure, Mel Tucker has found the man who will lead Michigan State’s football defense line.

Brandon Jordan was a home run associate last year as a pass rush specialist, and Coleman was another high-profile signing to lead the group after Ron Burton left. But Coleman decided to return to his Georgia Tech alma mater after just one season with the Spartans.

And that left Tucker with a big decision. Would he go the internal route and promote Kevin Vickerson or Jordan, or would he go outside the program to make a splash?

Tucker chose the latter.

The hiring was made official on Wednesday afternoon when the school announced that Diron Reynolds would take over Coleman as the team’s next defensive line coach.

So what do we know about Reynolds, who has over 25 years of experience in both the NFL and the Power Five ranks?

Well, according to the press release, Reynolds spent the last seven seasons at Stanford before David Shaw left the program. Before that he was in Oklahoma when the Sooners won the Big 12 title in 2015 and before that he was a defensive assistant at Stanford (2014) and also spent over a decade in the NFL with the Colts, Vikings and Dolphins (2002-2013).

Here’s a list of the talented defensemen he’s coached at the collegiate level, according to the press release:

  • Solomon Thomas (Stanford): highest defender drafted 3rd overall in school history in 2017
  • Harrison Phillips (Stanford): All-American ranked No. 96 overall in 2018 and led all defenders in the nation with 103 tackles that year
  • Casey Toohill (Stanford): Selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft
  • Thomas Booker (Stanford): Selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft
  • Charles Tapper (Oklahoma): All-Big 12 first team lineman selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft

Reynolds also coached some NFL-level stars like Jared Allen, Nick Williams and Jason Taylor.

There’s no shortage of experience with Reynolds here, and Tucker has known him for a while, so the two have a good relationship and will work well together.

This feels like a great take for Michigan State Football and comes at perfect timing as five-star defenseman David Stone returns to East Lansing for another visit this weekend.

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