Former Syracuse defensive back Donte Williams has been named interim head coach of the USC Trojan football program, following Monday night's surprise firing of Clay Helton just two games into the season. Williams, who played for Syracuse in 2003 as a junior college transfer from Pasadena Community College, was the cornerbacks coach and associate head coach prior to Helton's firing. He played in five games in 2003 for Syracuse, recording just one tackle.
After one year with the Orange, Williams transferred to Idaho State where he played for two seasons before spending two years in the Arena Football League 2.
USC elected to make the move after a 42-28 loss at home to Stanford. The Trojans are 1-1 on the season and play at Washington State on Saturday.
Williams is a "legitimate candidate" to be the full time replacement for Helton, according to Sports Illustrated's USC site, All Trojans. One of the reasons he is a potential long-term option is because of his recruiting prowess. SI All-American's John Garcia Jr. notes that Williams is considered one of the top recruiters in the country.
“Donte Williams is one of the elite recruiters from a national standpoint and from a positional standpoint, with defensive backs, so expect USC to be able to maintain more verbal commitments than otherwise as long as he is at the helm," Garica Jr said via All Trojans.
"He is young and up-and-coming from a schematic standpoint and could be a legitimate candidate to keep the job, unlike how it went with Ed Orgeron. Of course ‘bigger’ names will be thrown out there in the coming days and weeks, but never discount those on the inside."