For Colorado State Rams head coach Mike Bobo, finding the next defensive coordinator of his team is the highest priority, as he said after practice in preparation of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Monday. And according to Football Scoop, Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly interviewed with Mike Bobo for that position on Monday.
By interviewing Kelly — a coordinator from a Power 5 program, and one who’s won a National Championship in 2014 — Bobo did what he’s done recently in recruiting for the Rams: he swung for the fences. He could hit a home run with Kelly, who was FSU’s D.C. from 2014-2017, but doesn’t expect to be retained by new head coach Willie Taggart.
No official hiring announcement has been made, and according to 247sports in Florida, Kelly was offered the job. Which doesn’t come as a surprise; if Bobo brought him in to interview, he likely offered him the job. That part may be telling, or, Kelly may have wanted to sleep on the thought before committing to CSU, and we could possibly hear an announcement today.
If the Rams land Kelly, it would be a huge hire. Kelly not only was the linebackers coach during that National Championship run, and then was promoted to D.C., his defenses have been top-40 each year according to the defensive S&P+ rankings, as tallahassee.com explained. They were 38th in 2014, 14th in 2015, 10th in 2016 and 32nd this year, which equates to disappointing numbers at FSU and would-be brilliant rankings at Colorado State.
CSU under Bobo has been ranked 90th in 2015, 81st last year and 97th this year out of 130 teams. Of course, Kelly received the benefit of many 4 and 5-star players at Florida State, but that was also partially due to his recruiting. With Kelly as the D.C., Bobo would likely ask him to do the same thing Bobo’s been doing; swing for the fences for those P5-level recruits, landing more and more each year.
Kelly isn’t the only possibility at coordinator; Bobo also said Monday he has interviewed six people for the opening at Colorado State.
Bobo placing defensive coordinator as the priority is saying a lot, considering that D.C. position is one of as many as four open positions on his coaching staff, with current defensive coordinator Marty English set to retire after the bowl game while offensive coordinator Will Friend and DBs coach Terry Fair were poached by Tennessee last week. The Rams are also in the middle of recruiting for 2018 while simultaneously preparing for the New Mexico Bowl, which kicks off at 2:30 MST in Albuquerque on Saturday.
It makes sense, though; Bobo has called the plays on offense for three years, and he’ll continue to do so, as his teams have continually improved on that side of the ball and set a school record this year by averaging 501 yards of offense per game.
Offense has been mostly awesome during Bobo’s tenure, but the defensive side of the ball has held the Rams back from reaching their lofty goals of winning the Mountain West Conference.