Oregon is close to hiring defensive line coach Joe Salave'a away from Washington State, according to a source.
Salave'a is a top-end recruiter who could help revitalize Oregon's defensive line both by developing the young players already on the roster and by landing new talent to help the Ducks improve what was one of the worst defenses in the nation in 2016.
According to sources, Salave'a visited Oregon earlier this month. Scout.com reported in December that Salave'a was in talks with Oregon.
Should a deal be reached, Salave'a would join a defensive staff that will be led by new coordinator Jim Leavitt, who spent the past two seasons at Colorado. Taggart has also hired safeties coach Keith Heyward (Louisville) and cornerbacks Charles Clark (Colorado). Clark has already been formally announced by Oregon. Heyward played at Oregon State and spent years coaching at USC and Washington.
Oregon is also in line to potentially hire Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. He could become Oregon's offensive coordinator and/or offensive line coach.
Salave'a coached defensive line at WSU from 2012 through 2016. Prior to that he spent a year in the same position at Arizona (2011), and before that he coached two years at San Jose State (2008-2009).
Salave'a was a two-time All-Pac-10 performer at Arizona (1994-197) before playing eight years in the NFL. He spent four seasons with the Tennessee Titans and was on the 1999 team that lost Super Bowl XXXIV to the St. Louis Rams.