It seems that there is a plenty of fan fare to go around with Arkansas hiring of Travis Williams as their new defensive coordinator. The Columbia, South Carolina native turned Auburn Tiger is very familiar with the SEC as a player, coach and recruiter. All of which will likely pay dividends as he begins his next journey in Fayetteville.
As a coach, he is very well thought of and has put quite a few players in the NFL. Most notably while at Auburn, he was responsible for developing players such as KJ Britt, Smoke Monday and Zakoby McClain.
“He’s a great coach with a lot of energy,” said McClain when asked about his time being coached by Williams.
Williams had a terrific college career for the Tigers racking up 214 tackles, 22.5 of those were for a loss. He was one of the integral leaders for the Tigers during their undefeated 2004 which was also his best season as a collegiate finishing with 80 stops with 9.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions.
Auburn has a recent history of physical defenses dating back the Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn days. Times have changed though but the mindset hasn’t.
No, we won’t see teams slow down offenses tremendously. Heck, UCF’s numbers in statistical categories from years gone by like yards and points per game don’t always tell the whole story anymore.
Under Barry Odom, Arkansas was able to shutdown opponents offenses several times through the years in the redzone. That is also something UCF did very well in while Williams was their coordinator. The Golden Knights were fifth in the nation in their redzone production forcing teams to a 68-percent success rate inside the 20’s.
UCF’s defensive unit was very opportunistic throughout the season finishing with 11 fumble recoveries and 17 forced fumbles. Both which were good enough for 18th in the FBS.
Current Razorback defensive commits are ecstatic about the hire of Williams.
Dallas Young: I’m excited bout the hire. Heard he is a great person…that he plays aggressive defense and loves man coverage.
Jaylon Braxton:I think it’s a great hire! He has SEC experience with coaching. I liked his energy and vibe talking to him and the defensive scheme.
Carson Dean: i’m very excited! Just knowing that he will bring a new energy and chemistry that will help the team. Plus, his knowledge of defense and LB play that can help me as a player as well.
As a recruiter, Williams was a lead recruiter on one five star in Owen Pappoe. He’s also signed or has committed 14 four-star players during his short coaching career.
Razorback head coach, Sam Pittman is serious about elevating their football program. That is evident by the two important hires he’s made this week at defensive coordinator and tight end.