The Arizona Wildcats could lose one of the defensive coaches they hired last offseason.
Cornerbacks coach Donté Williams is close to an agreement with Nebraska, HuskerOnline.com reported. The Rivals website cited “multiple sources” in its report.
Williams came to Arizona in January from San Jose State, where he built a reputation as one of the best recruiters in the nation. Williams has strong ties in Southern California, and he has played an integral role in securing the UA’s deep 2017 class. How many recruits would de-commit if Williams were to leave remains to be seen.
Multiple sources within the Arizona program were unaware of Williams’ intentions as of early Friday afternoon. A message left with Williams was not returned.
Williams quickly has become a favorite among UA players for his energetic approach and hands-on style. The youngest coach on Arizona’s staff, Williams turned 34 in September.
Despite inconsistent play on the field, Arizona’s cornerbacks regularly raved about Williams. Veteran Dane Cruikshank tweeted the following about Williams late Friday morning:
No matter what happens this will be my guy till the grave❗️#PlayForCoachD pic.twitter.com/Q73rzbqrB7— ✌️ Smoove (@Dane2Smoove) December 2, 2016
One of Arizona’s commitments, linebacker Joshua Brown from Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic, also chimed in:
It’s possible that Arizona could offer Williams a sizable raise in a last-ditch effort to keep him. Aside from coordinators Marcel Yates and Calvin Magee, all UA assistant coaches are on one-year contracts.
If Williams does leave, Yates could coach cornerbacks. He played defensive back and coached DBs before coming to Arizona, where he coaches linebackers. In that scenario, the UA would add a linebackers coach. The NCAA also is considering adding a 10th full-time assistant coach for FBS programs.