Justin Wilcox – Defensive Coordinator Possibility

This is currently our best entry in the defensive coordinator guess-a-thon after cycling through Randy Shannon, Teryl Austin, and W.E.B Dubois.

Wilcox has appeal because he's experienced beyond his years as a coordinator, is considered an elite LB position coach, and fashioned an assortment of guys named Hunter and Chase into an effective defense at Boise State. I'm inclined to forgive him for his weak Tennessee Volunteer defense in 2009 because Tennessee is a shriveled husk of a program that fell off the map of college football relevance after its long time coach grew complacent on the job, lost a key coordinator, made rash coaching hires, and program momentum hit the wall as surrounding programs grew stronger.

That could never happen at Tex-....oh, shit.

Anyway, here's Wilcox's resume:

College Football
Safety/Cornerback, Oregon, 1995-99

Coaching Career
Boise State - 2001-02, linebackers
California - 2003-05, linebackers
Boise State - 2006-09, defensive coordinator
Tennessee - 2010-present, defensive coordinator

I love the fact that he can coach the linebacker position and Cal has consistently featured good linebacker play without a surplus of five star recruits.

Despite his youth, Wilcox is one of the few defensive coordinators in the country who has been exposed to every variety of wild-ass offense college football has to offer from the Nevada Pistol, to Chip Kelly's spread option game, to June Jones' chuck-a-lot spread. And every pro set combination in-between. That's the best preparation for the Big 12 one can hope for. Similarly, he appears to bring the youth, edge, and passion that Muschamp provided here.

Wilcox isn't a particularly conventional guy and though he's strong believer in fundamentals, he seems to be the antithesis of the Chizik/Shannon approach of Base Defense Shall Address All.

I don't pretend to know a ton about Wilcox, but I'm pretty excited about what he could offer. He's currently making a shade over 600K at Tennessee with a 300K buyout, but I don't imagine that money is an object if we set our hearts on him. 900K to our defensive coordinator is already in the budget, right?

Similarly, if Wilcox does play a role in staffing our DT hire, rumor is that his favorite candidate would be Cal's Tosh Lupoi - considered an elite recruiter (Won Rivals National Recruiter of The Year Award last year) and one of most promising young DL coaches in college football.

What are your thoughts? Any concerns that Wilcox doesn't have enough skins on the wall?

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