June 18, 2008

Rebels have early lead for Mobile LB

PRICHARD, Ala. _ Enrique Williams knew his first scholarship would eventually come.

After all, he had been dominant at times for Blount High School at times last season, and the Mobile, Ala., native had been more than impressive during spring drills, both as a running back and as a linebacker.

However, Williams never expected his first offer would come from a Southeastern Conference school.

About two weeks ago, that offer came. Blount coach Kelvin Sigler, a former Alabama standout, called Williams and told him to call Ole Miss assistant Ron Dickerson Jr. When Williams hooked up with Dickerson, a scholarship offer was extended.

"I was excited," Williams said. "I was waiting on my first offer and I was really excited that it came from an SEC school and a really good school like Ole Miss."

The Rebels are recruiting the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Williams as a linebacker, despite the fact that Williams spent most of his time last season at running back. Williams gained 897 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing last season for the Leopards. He added 69 tackles despite playing just seven games on the defensive side of the football. Sigler said Dickerson told him Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix became enamored of Williams' abilities after watching him on film.

"He's a very hard-nosed player who will sacrifice for the team," Sigler said. "He's the kind of player who will do whatever it takes to help his team win. I think he'll be a great linebacker. My linebackers coach (Chris Edwards), when he first saw him this spring, wanted him full-time on defense. He's a great athlete."

In addition to the offer from Ole Miss, several schools _ including Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee, Auburn, UAB, Clemson and Vanderbilt _ have shown serious interest. Some want Williams at running back, while others think his potential is on defense.

"It doesn't matter to me," Williams said. "I just want to play. I'm aggressive and I'm a hard-hitting player who likes to get after it. I'm just a hard worker."

Williams will be in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a 7-on-7 camp this weekend and he will be in Oxford, Miss., in July for the Rebels' invitation camp.

"I'm hoping to find more information about Ole Miss then," Williams said. "I don't know much yet. I know they have some great coaches and I saw what Coach (Houston) Nutt did at Arkansas with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones and I know that Patrick Willis played at Ole Miss and I see what he's done in the NFL."

Williams said he's not averse to going out of state to play his college football either, so a late offer from Alabama or Auburn won't necessarily be a deal-clincher.

"Growing up, I really liked Texas," Williams said. "I just want to play. Ole Miss would be good. It's not too far from home. I just want to get somewhere and play. I want to see what offers I get and visit a couple of colleges before I make any decisions. I just really want to go somewhere. Ole Miss was the first to offer, so they're at the top of the list."

Williams is on track to qualify academically with a 21 on the ACT and 2.9 core grade-point average.

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