With the Arizona Wildcats cleaning house on the defensive coaching staff this year, many people are wondering who the new defensive coordinator will be.
We don't know that answer yet, but another hole has been plugged by the hiring of San Jose State secondary coach Donte Williams to the Arizona staff.
"I am excited to bring Coach Williams on staff here at Arizona," Rich Rodriguez said in a statement. "He is a bright, young coach that is an outstanding evaluator of talent and someone who has shown he can develop players. He will bring an energy on and off the field that will have an immediate impact on our program."
The changes on the defensive staff have been all about recruiting, and Williams certainly fits right into that new direction. At San Jose State, 247Sports named him the top recruiter in the Mountain West the past two seasons, and Sports Illustrated named him a top-ten recruiter in all of college football in February 2015.
Going to be fun seeing what Donte Williams can do in PAC-12-very good evaluator, tireless worker, really connects with kids/parents #Arizona— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) January 17, 2016
The Spartans were 34th in total defense last year in FBS, giving up 358.5 yards per game. By comparison, Arizona was 114th, allowing 466.8 yards on average.
It gets better though. SJSU was 2nd in FBS in passing yards allowed, surrendering just 157.8 per game. This shows Williams' ability to develop talent in the secondary, something that has been severely missing from Arizona in recent years.
For those worried about third down defense, San Jose State allowed opponents to convert on 36.7% of their opportunities, good for 49th in the country. Arizona was 113th.
Williams will join new cornerbacks coach Jahmile Addae on the defensive staff to this point. There are still two holes left to fill, including the defensive coordinator position. With the hiring of Williams, that makes me think Marcel Yates from Boise State is a less-likely candidate to be that defensive coordinator, as he is also a guy who focuses on the secondary. Arizona still needs a linebacker and defensive line guy.