New Texas football coach Charlie Strong has until Jan. 16 to get his staff assembled before in-person recruiting resumes, so time is of the essence. Strong’s first order of business Tuesday was to secure his defensive coordinator.
Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford is scheduled to be in Austin on Wednesday for a campus visit, according to a UT source. All signs point to the former Longhorn defensive back being named defensive coordinator, but UT spokesman John Bianco said late Tuesday that no contract has been offered yet.
Bedford has been with Strong since they were defensive assistants together at Florida in 2008. He coached defensive backs for the Gators in 2008 and 2009 and then became the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator in 2010.
Bedford and Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson both interviewed for the Cardinals’ now-vacant head coaching job, according to a Louisville source.
Athletic director Tom Jurich has made no final decision on Watson or any potential candidate. Reports surfaced Tuesday that Jurich will also consider rehiring former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, who is now at Western Kentucky.
Bedford played defensive back for the Longhorns under coach Fred Akers. This past season, the Cardinals ranked second nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 12.2 points per game.
Louisville opponents converted only 26.7 percent of the time on third down. Texas ranked 42nd nationally in that category, allowing a 36.8 percent conversion rate.
“He loves this states, and he loves this university,” Akers said of Bedford. “But if he gets a better deal, and it suits him better, hey, we all would back him. He’s a good one.”
Louisville linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary is also expected to join Strong on the defensive coaching staff.
Bo Davis, Texas’ defensive tackles coach under Mack Brown, was named the new defensive line coach at USC on Tuesday, according to the Orange County Register.
It also appears Texas has lost its first recruit because of the head coaching change.
San Antonio Warren defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao wasn’t a big fan of Davis leaving for USC. The 6-2, 300-pounder announced on Twitter late Tuesday: “Officially 100% decommitted from Texas.”
Lealaimatafao has offers from a host of other schools, including Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. He’s taken recruiting visits to UCLA, Arizona State and Oregon, according to 247sports.com.
Also on Tuesday, multiple recruiting sites reported that standout Beaumont Ozen cornerback Tony Brown enrolled at Alabama and will attend classes this spring. Former UT coach Mack Brown and Major Applewhite visited Tony Brown’s home days before Mack Brown resigned.
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