Georgia Hires Donte Williams: Why USC Will Struggle To Replace Cornerbacks Coach

    The USC Trojans lost CB coach Donte Williams to the Georgia Bulldogs. Read why Williams' status as a top recruiter makes this a tough loss for USC.

    The USC Trojans continue to remake its defensive staff this offseason after firing coordinator Alex Grinch during the year. On Saturday, cornerbacks coach Donte Williams accepted the defensive backs coach position with Georgia, per Matt Zenitz of 247sports. USC is expected to replace him with former Houston defensive coordinator Doug Belk.

    Georgia is adding a well-regarded recruiter and assistant to its staff. Williams’ departure leaves a sizable hole on the recruiting trail as they transition to the Big Ten Conference.

    Can USC Replace Donte Williams?

    Williams was rated as the third-best recruiter in the nation and was a back-to-back No. 1 pitchman in the Pac-12. The former Arena Football Leaguer and cousin of NFL assistant coach Kris Richard was USC’s interim coach in 2021 after Clay Helton was fired. He had been with USC since 2020.

    He’s been credited with landing numerous top recruits, including five-star USC commits Korey Foreman, Zachariah Branch, Brandon Lockhart, Domani Jackson, and Oregon’s Justin Flowe. Lockhart recently gave his word to USC on Oct. 29, 2023.

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    How USC proceeds without Williams might define Riley’s tenure. With the transfer portal still open, we could see Williams’ top hauls questioning their long-term fit with the program. It can’t help the team stumbled to a 7-5 finish with star QB Caleb Williams leading them.

    Lockhart’s status is the most pressing, but future recruits will also see a fallout. Williams was linked to 2026 prospect Tay Lockett as well. His roots in the recruiting world are impressive.

    Georgia continues to get richer by adding a recruiting savant. Williams’ coaching abilities on the field matter, too. He helped develop starters Mekhi Blackmon, Calen Bullock, Domani Jackson, Christian Roland-Wallace, Ceyair Wright, and Talanoa Hufanga. That’s quite the list of talent for a team that has struggled to build a defensive unit.

    If USC starts to lose Williams’ recruits, the program will be in trouble as they face even tougher competition in the Big Ten.

    He’ll fill the role that Fran Brown left before he took the Syracuse Orange’s head coaching role. Brown was credited with his slew of top recruits, including two five-star additions in 2023 alone. However, it’s fair to say that Georgia’s brand and recent success make life a little easier on the recruiting trail for anyone on staff.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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