Over the weekend, Clemson interviewed the first and the last candidate for the defensive line coaching vacancy. Mike Pelton of Troy was the first to be interviewed, and Chris Rumph of Memphis was the last. Other candidates were contacted, but Coach Bowden and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning zeroed in on Pelton and Rumph.
Pelton was on campus Friday and Saturday. Pelton coached under Koenning at Troy, where he coached first round pick DeMarcus Ware. Pelton has done good things with Troy's defensive line, and he would have likely done a good job at Clemson, but it appears if he leaves Troy, it will not be for Clemson.
We have confirmed through two sources that barring a last minute bump in the road, Clemson will hire Rumph. A formal announcement is not expected to be made on Monday, because of all the legalities that must take place first.
It is our understanding that the coaching staff came away very impressed with Rumph, and Rumph was impressed likewise with Clemson. Rumph played for Brad Scott at South Carolina, and he has another tie to the Clemson program.
Rising sophomore defensive end Phillip Merling is Rumph's nephew. It is looking very probable that Merling will open spring practice being coached by his uncle.