Williams: Alford loss a ‘big blow’

Notre Dame four-star running back signee Dexter Williams of Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange was blindsided by Tony Alford’s departure from South Bend.

On Saturday, Irish Illustrated broke news that Notre Dame recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Tony Alford will be named the assistant head coach and running backs coach at Ohio State.

This news comes three days after four-star running back Dexter Williams of Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange signed with the Irish. Alford played a pivotal role in Williams’ decision to choose Notre Dame over Miami on signing day as both his primary recruiter and future position coach.

“It’s a big blow, but at the same time, I’m not trying to focus on it right now,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a big blow not just for me, but to the other guys he recruited because everybody expects him to be there, and it happened so fast. I wish I would have known the day before signing day this was going to happen, but it is what it is.”

Williams said Alford spoke with him on the phone Saturday morning after the news became public.

“I just got off the phone with him five minutes ago,” Williams said. “He told me this will help him grow professionally. It was all right. It wasn’t something I wanted to hear, but I had no choice but to hear it.

“I’m mad but I’m not going to let it show. I understand his decision because it’s going to help him and his family in life. Ohio State is a big school; it’s a great school, and they have great running backs there. I see why they came and got coach Alford because he’s a great running backs coach, and he knows what he’s doing.”

Despite the feelings of disappointment, Williams says he has no intentions of letting Alford’s departure affect his future at Notre Dame.

“It’s a better opportunity for him to grow because he’s been a great coach as everyone knows,” Williams said. “But, at the same time, it’s kind of difficult for me because I want him to be my coach, and that’s who I was expecting to be with up there. It is what it is. I still got to do my own thing and do what I do next year. I’ll make a big impact at Notre Dame.”

– Amy Campbell contributed to this report

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