Former UAB receiver Jackie Williams (#15) has transferred to UCF. (MARVIN GENTRY, US PRESSWIRE / September 3, 2011)

Former UAB wide receiver Jackie Williams, who was dismissed from the Blazers team last Friday, has transferred to UCF.

He enrolled in classes on Thursday and will be out at the Knights practice on Monday, Knights’ coach George O’Leary confirmed.

Williams, a 5-11, 190-pound senior, caught 52 passes for 799 yards for UAB in 2012 and ranks fourth in school history with 140 receptions for 1,733 yards in his career.

Williams said he fielded calls from a number of programs, including Alabama, Kentucky and East Carolina. The Vigor High (Ala.) product has connections at UCF with two former UAB coaches, Tyson Summers and Lorenzo Costantini, and former high school teammate Jacoby Glenn, and opted to sign with the Knights.

“I took a lot of calls from other schools, but I felt comfortable with these two coaches and having a history with them, and when I spoke to Coach O’Leary I felt like this was the right place,” Williams said.

Williams had eight catches for 55 yards against UCF in 2012 and 10 catches for 88 yards with a rushing touchdown against the Knights in 2011.

A featured player at UAB, Williams was dismissed for reasons that remain unclear. Earlier this week, Blazers head coach Garrick McGee said it related to a change in culture at the school.

“The mistake I made when I released it undisclosed, that gave everybody an opportunity to speculate on what it could be and that really wasn't fair to the kid,” McGee said, according to al.com. "I want to clear it up. That kid has not got in any trouble around here. He is not a troublemaker. He has not failed any drug test. It's just the direction I'm headed in, the culture of the program has to change and the culture of the program overrides talent in my opinion."

Williams said he was surprised by the decision.

“I had no idea about his decision until it actually happened,” Williams said. “Yeah, I had some success, but like he said, a culture overrides talent any day. Of course I wasn’t happy with the decision, but I had to respect to him being the head coach.”

Williams will have to sit out a year, but next season will join a wide receiver corps that loses Jeff Godfrey but returns Breshad Perriman, Rannell Hall, J.J. Worton and Josh Reese. The senior said he will approach this fall with an effort to help the team get better in any capacity that he can.

“Knowing my role, that’s what Coach O’Leary has been telling me, saying this year is going to be a role year,” Williams said. “So basically just going in there trying to help the team and defense as much as I can on scout team. … I used to say I would never be on punt or never be on kickoff because I hate tackling, but if that’s what I have to do to help the team, that’s what I got to do to help the team. I’m willing to do that.”

E-mail Paul Tenorio at ptenorio@orlandosentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @OSKnights.