Alabama assistant football coach Eric Wolford never returned to Kentucky or said goodbye to the team, report says
Alabama recently made an impressive move by hiring a highly regarded offensive line coach Eric Wolford of Kentucky to fulfill the same role under Nick Saban with the Crimson Tide, but the move did not come without controversy. Kyle Tucker of The Athletic, citing an unnamed source, reports that Wolford effectively disappeared once he left for an interview with Alabama and that he never said goodbye to his players or returned to Lexington. Additionally, Tucker reports that Kentucky thought Wolford was recruiting a prospect on behalf of the Wildcats when in fact he was doing so on behalf of Alabama.
The Tide has yet to officially announce Wolford as its offensive line coach, but 247Sports affiliate BamaOnLine recently reported that Alabama will likely hire him to replace Doug Marrone. Wolford has recruited a number of highly rated prospects for the Wildcats in recent classes, and he recently landed commitments from four-star Nashville wide receivers Barion Brown and Shamar Porter – Brown signed with Kentucky, while Porter is a prospect of 2023.
Wolford’s stint at Lexington will end up being quite short-lived, as coach Mark Stoops only hired him ahead of the 2021 season after Wolford spent four seasons with South Carolina. Additionally, Wolford served on the staff of the 49ers in San Francisco, Illinois, Arizona, North Texas, Houston, and South Florida. He also served as head coach of Youngstown State from 2010 to 2014; like Stoops, he hails from Youngstown, Ohio.
Kentucky has put together an extremely strong 2022 class, as the Cats rank 13th nationally heading into National Signing Day according to 247Sports’ industry-generated composite team rankings. The Wildcats no longer have any unsigned high school commitments — all have already signed up or signed in December during the early signing period.
Meanwhile, Alabama trails Texas A&M for the No. 1 class in 2022. The Aggies rank first nationally, but Bama is just slightly behind and has a chance to pass Coach Jimbo. Fisher and Co. Wednesday.
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It should be noted that the Tide could have a change in key personnel in attack. Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Tide’s offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is one of the first candidates for the vacant position of open offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots after the departure of Josh McDaniels for Las Vegas will become the Raiders’ next head coach. Saban hired O’Brien ahead of the 2021 season after the latter’s long tenure as head coach and general manager of the Houston Texans ended, and O’Brien led Alabama to another successful season on offense. despite the departures of Mac Jones, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Najee Harris to the NFL.