Ed Orgeron and LSU won their biggest recruiting battle of the winter Wednesday night, holding off Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M to retain defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. The new Aggies coach made repeated offers to lure Aranda away, but he will remain in Baton Rouge. A source told SI Aranda is getting a new four-year deal there that will pay him $2.5 million per year and it is fully guaranteed, making him by far the highest paid coordinator in college football.
"Dave is a very instrumental here with what we're building at LSU,” Orgeron told SI. "He's one of the best defensive minds in all of football, and he's even better person. We're looking forward to him being at LSU for many years to come.”
The 41-year-old Aranda led an LSU defense that allowed the fewest touchdowns (16) and fewest touchdowns per game (1.3) in college football in 2016. In his first year with the Tigers, Aranda was the architect for a LSU defense that ranked in the Top 10 nationally in scoring (No. 5 at 15.8 points per game) and total yards (No. 10 at 314.4 yards per game). In 2017, the Tigers ranked No. 12 in total defense in the country.