Tennessee Vols defensive coordinator Tim Banks is reportedly an option to join Marcus Freeman’s staff at Notre Dame.

Football Scoop’s John Brice reported on Monday that Banks is one of Freeman’s top candidates to fill Notre Dame’s vacant defensive coordinator position.

Freeman took over as the head coach at Notre Dame last month after Brian Kelly left South Bend to become the head coach at LSU.

Other candidates for the job, according to Brice, are Iowa State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock, Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason, Jacksonville Jaguars safeties coach Chris Ash, and Cincinnati Bengals linebackers coach Al Golden.

It’s unclear how high up the list Banks is for Freeman.

It’s also unclear how interested Banks would be in the job. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Banks strongly considers the job if offered. Banks is a Detroit native who spent a significant amount of time coaching in the Big 10 at Illinois and Penn State. Notre Dame is a lot closer to home for Banks than Tennessee.

Tennessee had the No. 90 scoring defense in the nation this season under Banks, giving up 29.1 points per game.

Those stats, however, don’t necessarily tell the whole story of the Vols’ defense in 2021.

Banks did a good job considering the lack of depth he inherited, plus the style of offense that Tennessee plays. The Vols are always going to give up a decent amount of points — even with an above-average defense — simply due to the number of possessions that opposing offenses receive (because of the Vols’ up-tempo offense).

The good news for Tennessee is that if Banks ends up leaving for Notre Dame, Vols head coach Josh Heupel should have an easier time finding a defensive coordinator than he did a year ago when there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding UT football.

Featured image via Saul Young/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services/UTAD