Former Miami LB Williams transferring to Louisville

Linebacker Willie Williams, once one of the nation's top recruits who was controversially accepted into Miami in 2004 despite off-field troubles before and during his recruitment, has transferred to Louisville, a university source said Thursday.

Williams has been attending West Los Angeles Community College in Culver City, Calif., where he played last season. He is expected to enroll during the summer and be eligible to play outside linebacker under new Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe in the coming season.

Williams redshirted in 2004 and saw action in 10 Hurricanes games in 2005 as a backup outside linebacker and on special teams. He asked then-coach Larry Coker for his release from the Miami program prior to the 2006 season.

Williams is being admitted to Louisville under the recommendation of athletics director Tom Jurich, who personally conducted a background check on Williams.

The linebacker pleaded no contest in 2004 following incidents in Gainesville, Fla., during his recruiting visit to the University of Florida. Williams was facing a felony count of setting off fire extinguishers at his hotel and a misdemeanor battery charge for hugging a woman without consent.

For each plea, Williams received a year's probation as well as community service. He was arrested 11 times in a five-year span from 2000-04, mainly on theft and burglary charges. He already was on probation for a 2002 felony burglary charge.

Joe Schad is a national college football reporter for ESPN.