June 12, 2002

Free Preview: Bruin target talented LB

The Bruins have to be guarded with the offers they make. Bob Toledo and crew started the season with approximately 16 offers to give. With top Bruin recruit Mike Nixon opting for the Los Angeles Dodgers instead of the UCLA Bruins, which will free up another scholarship.

One thing you have to be impressed with is how the Bruins have done a great job identifying players. The Bruins were first or nearly the first offer several players on their list.

One player that the Bruins were in on early was Thomas Williams (6-2 , 230, 4.55) from Vacaville, Calif.

Williams has been putting in overtime this off-season working on his strength, quickness and overall speed. His max on the bench is now 355, his squat is 475 and his best 40-yard dash time is now 4.55. "I've been running a consistent 4.58, but my best time is 4.55," Williams said. "I think I will get my 40 time down to 4.5 before to long."

Williams has the instincts and passion for the game of football that you love to see in a major prospect. You know that he will do the work necessary to be a success on the next level.

Williams was selected all-league after piling up 85 tackles, eight sacks, four fumbles caused, three picks and one forced fumble from his outside linebacker spot. He also played fullback on offense, picking up 378 yards and four touchdowns. Williams also had a receiving touchdown as a junior.

The versatile Williams could line up at running back his senior season as well as linebacker. He projects as an outside linebacker on the next level.

Williams is also an outstanding baseball player and he's getting looks for his talents on the diamond. He batted .422, had three HRs, 28 RBIs and seven SBs as a left fielder for Vacaville.

The list of schools pursuing Williams is gaining names everyday. Williams has offers from the Bruins, USC, Oregon State and Nebraska. There are offers pending from LSU, Oregon, Notre Dame and Washington.

Michigan, Arizona, ASU, Stanford and Cal are also getting consideration from the talented Williams.

"I'm very open regarding school choice and I have no favorites at this time," Williams said. "I like all the schools recruiting me equally."

"I'm looking for a college with the right environment," Williams said. "I want to go to a school where there is a good relationship between myself, the head coach and my position coach."

"Another important consideration is I want to go to a top-notch school that is known for my chosen major which is sports therapy."

Is there a time table when Williams will make his decision?

"I will make up mind when it feels right," Williams said.

Vacaville may have two alums starting in the Pac10 this season in cornerback Joe Hunter (for your UCLA Bruins) and tight end/linebacker Josh Rogers.

"Both Josh and Joe have been very helpful during the recruiting process," William said. "They are letting me know what to expect."

"I really didn't know Joe until last fall and he has gone out of his way to show me drills that will help me when I get to college," Williams said. "Joe is a great guy."

Williams will be a player that we will monitor very closely as the recruiting season progresses. Just a reminder, Vacaville head coach Fred Jones, has known UCLA head coach Bob Toledo since their boyhood days in San Jose.

Stay tuned…

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