Oct 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman signals to his players in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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Notre Dame’s next coach? Marcus Freeman odds-on favorite

Amid reports that Brian Kelly is trying to take Marcus Freeman to LSU, Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator is the early favorite to take over the Fighting Irish program.

Freeman was installed as the -150 odds-on favorite by SportsBetting.ag to become Notre Dame’s next coach, less than 24 hours after Kelly rocked the program by bolting for Baton Rouge.

Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell is next at +175, followed by Iowa State coach Matt Campbell (+400) and Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer (+700). In all, the sportsbook is offering odds on 11 potential candidates.

Freeman’s name quickly emerged as Notre Dame’s likely choice to succeed Kelly. However, The Athletic also reported that Kelly has reached out to Freeman about potentially joining him as LSU’s defensive coordinator.

Former LSU coach Ed Orgeron pursued Freeman last year to replace Bo Pelini, but Freeman ultimately decided on Notre Dame. In his first season with the Fighting Irish, Freeman has seen his defense allowing an average of 349.3 yards and a little more than 18 points per game.

According to the report, Kelly is seeking to make Freeman the highest-paid defensive coordinator in college football. The 35-year-old Freeman played for Ohio State before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2009.

Forced to retire in 2010 due to an enlarged heart condition, Freeman joined the Buckeyes’ as a graduate assistant later that year. He spent time at Kent State, Purdue and Cincinnati before landing with Notre Dame.

Kelly also reportedly is interested in taking Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees to the Tigers.

Only 29, Rees is not considered a candidate for Notre Dame’s head coaching vacancy.

Fickell has Cincinnati poised for a potential spot in the College Football Playoff and his name has been tied to several vacancies around the country.

Notre Dame Next Coach Odds:
Marcus Freeman: -150
Luke Fickell: +175
Matt Campbell: +400
Urban Meyer: +700
Matt Rhule: +1200
Bob Stoops: +2000
Lane Kiffin: +2000
Dave Aranda: +2500
Ed Orgeron: +2500
Pat Fitzgerald: +2500
Dave Clawson: +3300

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