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Reports: Justin Wilcox finalizing deal to become Wisconsin defensive coordinator

The former USC defensive coordinator reportedly will lead the UW defense.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers and former USC Trojans defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox are finalizing terms of a deal for him to fill the same position at UW, per a report from FootballScoop.com.

Sources told the website -- which reported back on Jan. 19 in a series of tweets that Wilcox was being considered for the position -- the news of the impending deal.

Fox Sports's Alex Marvez tweeted that his source confirmed the initial report. Badger247's Evan Flood reported on Wednesday morning that a decision would be coming in the next day or so, and his sources also indicated Wilcox "is poised" to come to Wisconsin.

If reports are true, Wilcox brings to Madison a myriad of coordinator experience, having run defenses for the Trojans (2014-15), Washington Huskies (2012-13), and Tennessee Volunteers (2010-11). Two seasons ago, the Trojans' defense ranked 78th in total defense, allowing 398 yards per game. The Trojans did break into the nation's top 20 in turnover margin, red-zone defense and third-down conversion defense, according to USC's official biography of Wilcox.

He was fired after the 2015 season when interim head coach Clay Helton was permanently given the Trojans' head coaching position, after USC finished 65th in the nation in total defense, allowing 400.8 yards per game -- which included rankings of 41st against the run and 93rd against the pass. The Trojans allowed 25.7 points per game, good for 50th in the FBS.

Leading the Huskies' and Vols' defenses, Wilcox found some success at both programs. Per USC's biography:

In 2012, the Huskies were in the national Top 40 in total defense, scoring defense and pass defense after finishing the previous year ranked lower than 105th in each category. UW's scoring defense was in the national Top 35 in 2013, while its pass efficiency defense improved 60 spots to 27th nationally in 2012 and then was 11th in 2013 (first in the Pac-12). Its 41 pass sacks in 2013 are second most nationally. The Huskies played in the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl and 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl.

Before that, Wilcox was Tennessee's defensive coordinator for 2 years (2010-11). The Volunteers were 28th nationally in total defense (340.5) in 2011. In 2010, his defense limited foes to 14 or fewer points in 4 November games.

Those stints came after four seasons as defensive coordinator at Boise State from 2006-09. In his last two seasons as Broncos' defensive coordinator, Boise State was among the best in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 12.6 points per game in 2008 -- third-best in the nation. They ranked No. 14 in the nation in 2009 in the same category, allowing only 17.1 points per contest.

One of Wilcox's first tasks apparently will be to visit four-star defensive lineman and current Wisconsin verbal commit Garrett Rand. Per Flood, Wilcox will head to Chandler, Arizona to meet with the Hamilton high school standout -- who recently visited UCLA this past weekend and was awaiting word on who the next coordinator would be.