With former wide receivers coach leaving for Alabama earlier this week, the Hokies had a hole to fill on their coaching staff. They chose to hire Jafar Williams, who most recently was an assistant at Maryland as a running backs coach last fall.
Thirteen years ago, Williams was a Terrapin himself as he played wide receiver and had a moderate amount of success with 90 career receptions. Since then, he has coached both running backs and wide receivers. Many players under his tutelage ended up having successful seasons, including Dri Archer of Kent State, Markell Jones of Purdue, and most recently, Anthony McFarland and Ty Johnson with Maryland who had a combined 7.8 yards per carry this past season.
Williams has yet to stay in a position for more than two seasons, but has gradually moved up the coaching ladder.
Under Fuente, the Hokies have steadily improved the wide receiver corps as a whole through the recruiting process. In the press release, Tech’s head coach mentions this as a strength of Williams.
“I knew the qualities we wanted in an assistant coach and recruiter to fill this position,” Fuente said. “Jafar possesses familiarity with our offensive philosophy, as well as our coaching style and expectations. Jafar has been through the recruiting process as a coach and a student-athlete and has built solid relationships across our region.”
That region includes some schools that usually have collegiate level talent, including DeMatha Catholic, which is where Anthony McFarland and countless other professional athletes have attended. If Williams is indeed able to tap into that connection and recruiting is a strength of his, that would make both his and Fuente’s job much easier once those recruits reach Blacksburg.
Despite the recent departures, Tech still plenty of talent at the receiver spot that should allow Williams to have immediate success. From the looks of it, Williams has been able to maximize talent at nearly every school he has coached at, while still being able to bring good recruits in the locker room. At least on paper, that makes this hire look very solid. It will be interesting to see if he has an extended role on the staff, such as helping with the passing game every week during the season.
Welcome to Blacksburg, coach.