Sports Radio ESPN1420 has learned through multiple sources that former NFL player James Willis is emerging as the leading candidate to succeed Greg Stewart as the defensive coordinator for Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns.

The news was reported on www.coachingsearch.com.

The 41 year old Willis played his college football at Auburn and was a 5th round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 1993 NFL draft.  Willis played for three different NFL teams plus a team in the now-defunct XFL.  After his playing career, he returned to Auburn to finish his degree requirements.

Willis has coached at Rhode Island, Temple and Auburn before spending one year as Associate Head Coach for Nick Saban at Alabama and was on the staff when 'Bama beat Texas for the National Championship.  He then spent time on Tommy Tuberville's staff as the defensive coordinator at Texas Tech, but resigned before the 2011Ticket City Bowl following an alleged domestic disturbance.  He has been coaching in the United Football League.