Bud Foster Gaining Momentum?

It was finally confirmed Monday that Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster did in fact interview for the head coaching position at Clemson Friday. But new information could mean he's much more of a viable candidate than most have assumed up until now.

An enthusiastic Foster told a group of reporters in an interview Monday after practice, "I did interview [with Clemson]. There's an interest on both parts, and we'll just see where it goes from there. I'm one of several potential candidates for the job and we'll see where it goes here in another week or so. That's all I know, and that's all I can say."

Later he seemed positive about the interview process, saying, "I was a nervous wreck going in, and I felt good coming out."

Foster, who has been an assistant coach at Virginia Tech for the past 22 years, has made no secret about his desire to be the next head coach at Clemson.

He originally stated last month that he'd be willing to "jump through hoops" to land the job.

The question is ... are the Tigers truly interested?

While solid information has been difficult to come by at best in recent weeks regarding any candidate, it is important to point out Foster is one of only three candidates known to interview for the position so far.

In addition, sources have told CUTigers.com this weekend Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips told members of the Clemson faculty he had essentially narrowed his list down to six candidates.

If that indeed is accurate, then he has already interviewed half of those finalists. That would certainly make Foster more of a viable candidate to gain the job than what most have thought before.

The other two candidates who have been interviewed are Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables and former Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin.

Another aspect that would support Foster would be that he would fit the "blue collar" mentality Phillips told CUTigers.com about Friday at the Anderson County Touchdown Club.

"I think you can get a good feel by visiting with individuals on how they would fit in your place," he said of the coaching search. "Clemson is a great place and we have a blue collar mentality and I say that proudly.

"You have to have a person you believe would fit in that culture and be comfortable in that culture. I think we have a very comfortable culture. Those are things that become instinct. That becomes intuitive."

Keep in mind Foster won the 2006 Broyles Award honoring the nation's top assistant coach that year as has been the Hokies' defensive coordinator for the past 13 years.

He was a finalist for the award on three other occasions (1999, 2001, 2005) and his defensive units led the nation in total defense in 2005 and 2006 and he also was named the Division I-A Defensive Coordinator of the year in 2000 after helping lead the Hokies to the National Championship game.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit even coined the phrase "lunch pail mentality" with the Virginia Tech program in recent years, implying the toughness and physical style of play used by Foster and head coach Frank Beamer.

And now with three known interviews already in the books, including Foster's this past Friday, sources maintain Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is expected to interview next for the position at some point this week.

That would seem to be good timing considering the No. 3 Longhorns have an off-week before facing rival Texas A&M on Nov. 27.

Muschamp has long been considered to be one of the front-runners for the Clemson position and has a track record that compares with just about any assistant coach in the country.

Phillips is also expected to interview several head coaches for the Clemson head coaching position after the conclusion of the regular season on Nov. 29.

And of course, interim head coach Dabo Swinney is also still in the mix as well, with Phillips saying Friday he has a "good shot."

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