Looks like Brian Kelly is slipping into Pete's mailbag with a fake name... Given that there is a good chance Clark Lea will not be defensive coordinator after the 2020 season, who are some way-too-early candidates that you think will get a look? Is there a chance Nick Lezynski gets some consideration, or do you think he needs more experience? Stephen O. To answer the second part first, Lezynski would have to be a full-time position coach first, which he currently is not. So we’re a long, long way from him being a coordinator candidate. Normally, I would have dismissed this question as ridiculous, meaning the idea that a graduate assistant would be on anybody’s short list for a coordinator post. And it is ridiculous to talk about Lezynski in these kinds of terms, at least for right now. But mark this down in the same way you should have marked down Tommy Rees as a rising star in the profession during his first season as a graduate assistant at Northwestern, or in the way Rick Neuheisel knew he had something in Clark Lea as a graduate assistant at UCLA, so much so that he promoted him to linebackers coach and nearly to defensive coordinator all within a three-year window. Because Lezynski is going to be a star in the coaching profession. As a communicator, worker, recruiter, Lezynski has it all happening. It’s my belief that if Lea had landed the Boston College job, Lezynski would have been his linebackers coach. As for the guts of your question, about Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator a year from now, I wouldn’t just install Lea as a head coach elsewhere because he nearly got Boston College. For starters, Lea can be choosy with his next job considering his two-year coordinator run here. And I think he will be, focusing on Power 5 jobs with a good academic bent to them. In other words, Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, those types of places. Will any open next offseason? Hard to say. Vanderbilt, Lea’s alma mater, looked sure to open at midseason last fall, then didn’t. How long does David Cutcliffe keep going at Duke? Also, can you name another academically oriented Power 5 program that might have an opening four years down the road? Maybe that’s another Mailbag question for another time. Now, let’s say Lea lands his perfect fit after this next season. Where would Notre Dame turn? I’m not sure, beyond longtime Kelly aide Mike Elston. He’s learned so much and experienced even more during the past decade at Notre Dame. Of course, if Lea left and Elston got promoted, Notre Dame would need a new linebackers coach. And you already know how I feel about who that should be.