Freeze, who announced the hirings of offensive coordinator Phil Longo and defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff last week, has added Bradley Dale Peveto as his linebackers coach and run game coordinator for defense, sources confirmed with the Ole Miss Spirit. He'll also have a big hand in special teams. Peveto was ranked the No. 1 recruiter in the SEC last year. He just finished up his second stint at LSU, where he coached special teams and outside linebackers.
Peveto has significant coaching experience. He was a member of former LSU head coach Les Miles’ first staff at LSU as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach — a position he held until the 2008 season when he was promoted to co-defensive coordinator. LSU went a combined 42-11 during Peveto's first stretch with the Tigers, a span that saw LSU claim a national title and win at least 11 games in a season three times. With Peveto on staff, LSU has posted a 59-19 overall mark and won five bowl games.
In 2015, LSU featured two of the most dynamic return men in the SEC as Tre'Davious White ranked among the league leaders by averaging 11.4 yards on punt returns and true freshman Derrius Guice was equally as dangerous in kickoff returns with a 23.6 average. White also returned a punt for a touchdown for the second straight year, while Guice had a 75-yard kickoff return that setup a LSU touchdown. First-year starter Trent Domingue connected on 13-of-17 field goals for the Tigers, while punter Jamie Keehn averaged 40.7 yards a punt to finish his career among the school's all-time punting leaders.
On defense, Peveto oversaw a group of linebackers that were among the best in the SEC, led by Butkus Award finalist Deion Jones and Kendell Beckwith. Jones topped the Tigers with 100 tackles and was a second round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Falcons. Peveto's development of linebackers was critical in the LSU defense ranking among the top five in the nation for three straight years from 2005-07. During that three-year stretch, the Tigers held opponents to an average of 266.7 total yards and 15.7 points per game.
Peveto left LSU following the 2008 season to become the head coach at Northwestern State, where he posted a 14-30 mark in four seasons from 2009-12 with the Demons.
Freeze is now down to two coaching vacancies following the hiring of Peveto. Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin left to become the defensive coordinator for his brother, Lane, at FAU. Current North Carolina defensive line coach Tray Scott is considered the frontrunner for the position. Also left is wide receivers coach. Grant Heard is now at Indiana, potentially opening the door for the return of former Ole Miss assistant Gunter Brewer, who holds the same position at North Carolina.
Freeze is entering his sixth season at Ole Miss. The Rebels were 5-7 in 2016 after improving their win total in each of the previous four seasons, including a Sugar Bowl win in January.