A former Clemson defensive tackle is once again a Tiger. However, he is not a Clemson Tiger.
Nick Eason, who played for Clemson from 1999-’02, was named the new defensive line coach at Auburn Wednesday by new head coach Bryan Harsin. Eason replaces Auburn alum Tracy Rocker as the defensive line coach, who was recently hired by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Eason has spent seven of his eight years as a coach in the NFL where he had stints at Cleveland, Tennessee and Cincinnati. He has spent the last two years coaching the Bengals’ defensive line.
“I want to thank Auburn University, Athletics Director Allen Greene, Coach Bryan Harsin and Defensive Coordinator Derek Mason for the opportunity to be a part of one of the most elite programs in the country,” Eason said in an article from the Auburn Plainsman. “In visiting with Coach Harsin it was clear he knows the culture required and has a plan in place to create a foundation for success to produce championships. He has great passion and cares for his staff, players and the program.
“This is a great fit for me to coach and recruit great players and be a part of a football program with great success and tradition.”
Besides his seven years as an NFL coach, Eason coached one year at Austin Peay.
As a player, Eason played 10 seasons in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals. He played in two Super Bowls with the Steelers, while helping Pittsburgh win Super Bowl XLIII.
The defense from the 2008 Steelers that won the Super Bowl, led the NFL that year in many categories, including total defense and scoring defenses. It is considered one of the best defenses in the Super Bowl era.
At Clemson Eason played in 47 games in four years, while starting 35 of them. He recorded 15 sacks and 30 tackles for loss in his college career. He was voted as a First-Team All-ACC selection in 2002, his senior year.
Eason was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Broncos.
“Nick is a hire we are extremely excited about as he has coached and played at the highest level,” Harsin said in a statement. “After a 10-year NFL career, he moved right into coaching and quickly became an NFL position coach within two years. That’s something that doesn’t happen every day and speaks volumes for his coaching and connection ability. As we got to know Nick better through this process, the football part of it became very apparent as he is a great teacher. But what stands out about Nick, in addition, is his personality, professionalism and an ability to form a relationship with people very quickly.”