USC set to hire Michigan assistant Shaun Nua to be new defensive line coach, per report
After three seasons on Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan, and perhaps with his stock at the highest it’s ever been, Wolverines assistant Shaun Nua is coming to the West Coast.
USC and head coach Lincoln Riley are hiring Nua to be the program’s new defensive line coach according to multiple reports, first from Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel.
Sources: USC is hiring Michigan’s Shaun Nua to be the defensive line coach. Nua coached Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, who project as Top 15 picks in the NFL draft.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 5, 2022
Michigan’s season ended on Dec. 31 when it lost to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals. In the days since, reports have emerged from both national sources like The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and local writers suggesting Harbaugh could look at a return to the NFL. In the meantime, it would seem other FBS programs are looking to raid his Michigan staff.
Nua was the defensive line coach at Navy from 2012-17, his first on-field coaching gig at the collegiate level. Before that, he was a defensive intern and then a defensive graduate assistant on BYU’s staff for three years. In 2018, Nua moved to Tempe where he took over as the d-line coach for Arizona State.
No doubt the biggest bullet on his résumé to this point in his career is his mentorship over UM edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, the Big Ten’s No. 1 and No. 2 sack-getters this season. Hutchinson had a program record 14 sacks while Ojabo had 11 often playing opposite Hutchinson.
Hutchinson earned a trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony as a finalist and is the favorite to go No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Ojabo is also projected to be a first-round pick.
USC’s sacks leader this past season was defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu with 5.5. There would have to be a lot of optimism about what Nua could do for him and for 2021 5-star signee Korey Foreman after his work with Hutchinson.