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January 15, 2014

Grimes played key role for 2010 Auburn title team

Quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley are the two individuals who come to mind when thinking about Auburn's 2010 national championship team.

However, another person who played a huge role in the 14-0 season for that Auburn team was offensive line coach Jeff Grimes. The offensive line was dominant as Auburn rushed for nearly 4,000 yards.

According to multiple sources, Grimes will be LSU's new offensive line coach. Tigers coach Les Miles said Tuesday that he was seven to ten days away from making a hire for offensive line coach. LSU officials are making no comment on Grimes' status.

That 2010 Auburn offensive line had three players who earned All-Southeastern Conference honors - tackle Lee Ziemba, guard Byron Isom and center Ryan Pugh. Grimes came on board at Auburn with head coach Gene Chizik in 2009. Both Ziemba and Pugh gained All-America recognition in 2010.

Miles said that he wanted an offensive line coach who "can improve what is already a really pretty good line." Miles also was looking for a coach who has put players in the NFL. Ziemba was drafted by the Carolina Panthers, while Brandon Mosley was a New York Giants draft pick one year later.

Ziemba is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts organization. He played in six games for the Panthers before being released. Mosley played in 13 games with one start for the Giants this season. Neither Isom nor Pugh is currently in the NFL.

LSU among country's elite in BCS era

New Auburn coach Gus Malzahn did not retain Grimes, who was then hired at Virginia Tech. Grimes was the offensive line coach and running game coordinator for the Hokies in 2013. Virginia Tech did not have a productive running game this past season.

The Hokies averaged just 119.8 yards per game rushing. Virginia Tech's top two running backs - Trey Edmunds and J.C. Coleman - combined for fewer than 1,000 rushing yards. Two linemen - guard Andrew Miller and center David Wang - were Honorable Mention All-ACC selections.

Grimes, who played football at UTEP, had his first coaching job at a Division I school in 2000 as Boise State's offensive line coach. Over the next eight years, Grimes had coaching stints at Arizona State (2001-03), BYU (2004-06) and Colorado (2007-08) - all as offensive line coach.

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