Confirmed this morning, Oklahoma's Brent Venables has been hired as Clemson's new Defensive Coordinator and LB Coach. His salary at OU was roughly 440K, and its expected he'll get 800-850K at Clemson. He leaves OU after being stripped of playcalling duties for Bob Stoops' brother Mike, whom he shared DC duties with before Mike left for Arizona.
Venables is regarded there as one of the best recruiters on staff, and Stoops put up a fight to try and keep him. He's also been a good LB coach during his time there. Steele came in with similar creds, plus a good NFL pedigree as a LB coach.
The scheme he runs is from the Kansas State coaching tree style. It is a 4-3 OVER defense with varying amounts of Under depending on who they face (Under is what Steele ran against pro-personnel group offenses). I've watched OU a good bit over the years, and they will play more OVER (and nickel) against spread formations, but otherwise a good amount of Under. OU does pattern-read, and will play more zone than Clemson has played under Steele. Overall, Venables' scheme is not a great switch.
We are not terribly thrilled with the hire, as OU fans were not, in general, thrilled with Venables. The Sooners' defenses under his watch had one really good year, ranking 8th, but the rest ranked in the 50s. Many complain of his defenses being too complex for his players. Clemson's was worse than that this year, so improvement is expected, but I do not believe him an elite DC capable of putting Clemson where it should be based on our talent. OU had far more talent in his term there than we have had. Texas had similar talent and put up better numbers in the same conference and timeframe.
Due to lack of time and other articles in the works, no stat comparison will be coming today, but we'll be running multiple articles on Venables