Ex-Auburn football DC's arrival at Florida means 'rising rock star' Billy Napier underling wasn't ready

Hugh Freeze's former Auburn football defensive coordinator being added to Billy Napier's Florida staff means the Gators defensive coordinator wasn't the "rising rock star" the coach said he was, says one analyst.

Georgia v Florida
Georgia v Florida / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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The addition of former Auburn football defensive coordinator Ron Roberts to Billy Napier's Florida staff means that Gators defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong isn't the "rising rock star" Napier said he was -- this, at least, according to Hail Florida Hail's Benjamin Henderson.

"The move is being presented as giving Armstrong a 'mentor,' which is fine except it somewhat pokes a hole in the narrative that Armstrong is also a 'rising rock star,'" Henderson prefaced before saying, "Yes rising stars need mentors because they are not yet stars, but it signals that two years in a row Napier has had a defensive coordinator that wasn't SEC ready."

That sentiment is similar to the justification of Roberts' own exit from the Plains once Charles Kelly was hired. Roberts deleted a tweet the day of his departure (January 8) from Auburn that sure read as a passive-aggressive shot at Hugh Freeze's decision to hire the ex-Colorado defensive coordinator under Coach Prime in Boulder.

It wouldn't be any bit of a shocker to see Napier's Florida program continue to dwell in chaos and have a similar defensive coordinator power struggle. At the same time, though, Roberts and Armstrong were on the same Ragin' Cajuns coaching staff in 2018.

Ron Roberts replacement the only Auburn football coordinator hiring left

Roberts' defensive coordinator replacement is the only coordinator hiring left for Freeze to make after the AU head coach called on his own number moving forward in the Tigers' play-calling department.

"Hugh Freeze will call his own plays on offense next season for Auburn football, sources tell ESPN," ESPN's Chris Low prefaced before saying, "Freeze looked at a couple of different options after firing OC Philip Montgomery, but is taking over play-calling duties. Auburn was 11th in SEC this season in scoring offense."

Kelly feels like a natural promotion to the position, but there's a search yet to be done that could keep the former right hand man of Nick Saban in his current co-defensive coordinator role.