The Next Def. Coordinator Expected to Be...

One thing you have to say about Gary Crowton: he's moving fast to get the Defensive Coordinator position filled. He interviewed Kyle Wittingham, the former Ute coach, yesterday and will hook up with Bronco Mendenhall this weekend. However, a third candidate, a darkhorse, could also be in the picture.

... Bronco Mendenhall, at least if the apparent clues are accurate.

Examine the circumstances surrounding Gary Crowton's interviewing each of the two leading candidates.

The BYU head coach met with Whittingham on Wednesday at a townhome he owns in Provo. It was just the two coaches meeting one on one, nothing more, nothing less.

However, when Mendenhall rolls into town for his inperson visit, he won't be alone. The current New Mexico associate head coach will bring his wife Holly (they also have two boys, four and two years old) and the family will meet up with many key BYU administrators including school president, Merrill Bateman.

The visit will also last through Sunday.

Crowton has said in the past the new coordinator will have "free reign" to bring in his own people. You have to assume Steve Kaufusi is safe--he was a Crowton hire last year. The only two other defensive coaches are Brian Mitchell and Barry Lamb.

And while it looks like Mendenhall is the safe bet at this point, there could be a third candidate in the mix. Crowton has said at press conferences he's like to interview three candidates.

So who would be the third?

The educated guess is Todd Bradford, a former secondary coach at Wisconsin and longtime friend of the BYU head coach. The two worked together on the New Hampshire staff.

But if you have to bet the farm today, put your money on the man who helped the Lobos make it to the Vegas Bowl on Christmas Day against UCLA.

One final note: Mendenhall's older brother, Mat and father, Paul, both played football at BYU.

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