Michigan football assistant coach Shaun Nua reportedly taking job at USC

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Is leaving Michigan football for Southern California a lateral move or a step up? That's a question for Shaun Nua.

Nua, who just finished his third season as Michigan's defensive line coach, is reportedly taking the same job at USC, according to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel.

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He coached Carlo Kemp, Kwity Paye, and more recently, Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo to all-Big Ten performances. Paye was a first-round NFL pick, and the latter two are projected first-round picks in the 2022 draft.

Though Nua serves as the defensive line coach, Taylor Upshaw said back in the spring that analyst Ryan Osborne was instrumental in improving defensive ends.

Michigan would not confirm or deny Wednesday's report, referring such questions to USC. The report comes one day after another national outlet suggested Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh could be headed back to the NFL.

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Michigan defense line coach Shaun Nua talks to defensive lineman Christopher Hinton (15) and Michigan linebacker David Ojabo (55) during the first half Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
Michigan defense line coach Shaun Nua talks to defensive lineman Christopher Hinton (15) and Michigan linebacker David Ojabo (55) during the first half Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

Nua, 40, was the lone holdover from former defensive coordinator Don Brown's staff. Brown was fired after five seasons and replaced by Mike Macdonald following the Wolverines' defensive struggles in 2020. Nua came to Ann Arbor in 2019 and his contract was renewed in January 2021. The deal was for two years and Nua owes 25% of his total base salary ($430,000) for this upcoming year as part of the buyout, according to his contract.

Michigan lost the Orange Bowl after a 12-win season, the best under Jim Harbaugh, who brought Nua in following the latter's stint at Arizona State.

Nua, a native of American Samoa, starred at BYU after playing at Eastern Arizona Junior College, where he earned All-American honors. In 2005, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him in the seventh round and he was part of the squad that won the Super Bowl played at Ford Field in February 2006.

He started his coaching career in 2009 as a grad assistant with BYU before working at Navy from 2012-2017. He joined ASU for a season in 2018.

Follow the Free Press on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be contacted at tjdavis@freepress.com or on Twitter @TDavisFreep.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football's Shaun Nua reportedly taking job at USC