January 14, 2009
Hogs take lead for Tallahassee two-sport star
Alex Williams had heard about Arkansas from his brother, former Razorback wide receiver Boo Williams, but last weekend's trip to Fayetteville was his first.
It didn't disappoint.
"My visit was wonderful," said Williams, a three-star defensive end from Tallahassee, Fla., who has narrowed his long list of prospective suitors to Arkansas and Ole Miss. "I was very impressed with what I saw. I really enjoyed myself. I can't complain about any part of the trip. The whole thing was wonderful."
Williams, a two-sport star who has also drawn offers in basketball as well, did not arrive in Fayetteville until Saturday morning because of a basketball game in Florida on Friday night.
"I saw everything I needed to see," Williams said. "I saw everything everybody else saw. They took me aside so I could get the full experience."
The highlight of Williams' trip was the Razorbacks' Southeastern Conference hoops opener against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs upset the home team, but Williams walked out of Bud Walton Arena impressed.
"They said it was 17,000 people (in attendance)," Williams said. "At Arkansas, a lot of people don't understand that they don't have a professional team. So Arkansas University is basically everything to the state, so every restaurant is full of Arkansas University gear and all kinds of things like that. It was crazy. The player didn't have to be the best player in the world to get a standing ovation every time he stepped on the floor or when he left. I loved it. Everything was good."
Williams said he talked to a Razorbacks assistant coach Tuesday night, who told him he "had a spot or a chance to come there and show them what I had. He's seen me play AAU. He said he liked what he saw and basically, if I come there and work hard, I'd get just as much opportunity to play there as I would on the football field."
Not surprisingly, Williams said Arkansas now has the lead over Ole Miss in the race for his signature. However, Razorbacks fans probably shouldn't start celebrating just yet. Williams will visit Ole Miss on Jan. 23, and the Rebels will get the last shot.
"That's strictly based on the fact that I've been there," Williams said, explaining the Hogs' lead. "I like Arkansas, so when I go to Ole Miss, if they don't seem to be what they should be adding up to Arkansas, then Arkansas probably will be my choice. They set the bar pretty high. I'm not going to lie to you. They showed me a heck of a good time. I can't even lie about it. Ole Miss is going to have to bring it on the visit for them to beat out Arkansas."
Boo Williams played for Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt at Arkansas, and the former New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos wide receiver is close to several Rebel assistants, including cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn, who is spearheading Ole Miss' recruitment of Alex Williams.
"I talked to Coach Vaughn," Williams said. "He said he wasn't worried about it. He's been there before. He knows the game, so he's a competitor too. I can expect to get a thrill out of Ole Miss. It should be a good experience. I'm looking forward to it."
Ole Miss' basketball team will be at South Carolina on Jan. 24, so Williams won't get a chance to check out the Rebels at Tad Smith Coliseum during his visit to Oxford. That won't matter, he said.
"I've seen them play on TV already this year, so I know what they're working with, and that shouldn't have a real big effect," Williams said.
Williams, who is ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 47 weakside defensive end, said he won't announce his college choice until Feb. 4. He recorded 19 quarterbacks sacks as a senior at FAMU High School.
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