One of the scuzziest time-honored traditions of recruiting is the departure of coaches for new jobs shortly after National Signing Day. Florida's taking part in that one this year, according to Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans, with the departure of defensive line coach Terrell Williams for the NFL and the imminent hiring of Texas defensive line coach Chris Rumph to replace him.
GatorZone's Scott Carter tweeted that same story, too, so we can probably take this report from Evans (who has been all over the construction of Florida's staff under Jim McElwain) as gospel. But 247Sports's Ryan Bartow, who is somewhat close to Rumph, reports that the deal is not done, with Rumph still needing to discuss it with his family, and Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun tweets that Rumph has only been offered the job.
Williams came to Florida from the Oakland Raiders, who were in the midst of turning over their staff in the wake of the firing of Dennis Allen, and seemed excited to return to the college ranks where he spent the first 14 years of his coaching career.
But he spent all of four weeks being there: Officially hired on January 5 along with five other coaches, he's reportedly heading to Miami to be the Dolphins' defensive line coach, where he replaces Kacy Rodgers, who left the team to become the New York Jets' defensive coordinator under Todd Bowles.
I was excited for Williams, who seems like a funny, interesting guy, and did great work with Texas A&M's defensive lines before leaving for the NFL, to be Florida's defensive line coach. I'm really excited for the prospect of Chris Rumph being Florida's defensive line coach.
Rumph was Alabama's defensive line coach from 2011 to 2013, so he and McElwain worked together in 2011, and he and Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier worked together in 2012 and 2013. But he, like Nussmeier, departed from Alabama after the 2013 season, heading to Texas, where he worked under Charlie Strong. (Amusing side note: Rumph went to Texas from Alabama in 2014, prompting Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis returning from Texas — which he departed Alabama for in 2011, to join a defensive staff that Will Muschamp left to come to Florida — to replace him.)
Texas tied for 40th nationally in yards per carry allowed in 2014, but Florida was eighth, tied with Alabama — built mostly by Rumph recruits — in that stat. Texas also finished 12th in sacks in 2014, with 40 in 13 games, and had four games with four or more sacks.
Lest you think, though, that losing Williams is a major recruiting loss, CeCe Jefferson apparently knew about his departure before today. And this isn't the first time an NFL coach has used Florida as a January waystation before returning to the NFL: Urban Meyer hired George Edwards from the Dolphins to be Florida's defensive coordinator in January 2010, only for Edwards to leave for the Buffalo Bills after National Signing Day, and be replaced by Teryl Austin.
This all led to nothing other than concern trolling.
If it's any consolation: Williams lasted 30 days, four more than Edwards, as a Gators assistant.