A Tennessee Vols assistant coach is reportedly in the mix to replace David Cutcliffe as the head coach at Duke.

Football Scoop’s John Brice reported on Monday, during an appearance on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, that Vols defensive coordinator Tim Banks is very much in the mix for the Duke job.

Brice noted that Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliot are also options for Duke.

It’s too early to tell if Banks would take the Duke job if offered. I’m sure he wants to be a head coach, but the Duke job is one of the toughest in college football. It’s typically not viewed as a “springboard” to better jobs. Banks would be wise to hold out for a better job.

However, if Banks is offered the job and chooses to leave, the Vols should be in a good position to hire a new defensive coordinator.

When Josh Heupel was searching for a defensive coordinator earlier this year, the job was hard to fill because of the uncertainty surrounding Tennessee and the program’s offensive approach under Heupel.

It should be much easier to make a hire now that folks understand that a defensive coordinator can be successful in the SEC while operating in conjunction with Heupel’s offense.

Banks would be missed — he’s done a terrific job at Tennessee — but it’s a loss that UT could overcome.

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