The Birmingham (Ala.) Wenonah standout was an Auburn commitment as the calendar flipped and as it is set to turn to July, he’ll enter the next month as an Alabama pledge. He made the decision in the last week and went public with the news on Tuesday morning.
“I committed to Alabama,” he said. “I did grow up an Auburn fan and it was a childhood dream to play Auburn football, but I just saw what was the best fit was for me and my family at Alabama. I love coach Nick Saban, he’s there for his players. Academically, they are a great school with a competitive football program. I like their focus, to provide you with the tools to become successful at life after your football playing days. They have a lot of history and tradition that I’d love to be a part of. I feel that this is the best decision for me and my family.
“I’m very comfortable with my decision, I’m very blessed to be in this situation.”
While the commitment, not a traditional flip as Williams decommitted from Auburn earlier in the month, seems like a week-to-week decision -- it hasn’t been. The state of Alabama’s top defensive tackle projection admits the Iron Bowl decision is one that has stretched throughout most of his life.
“It was a long process. This process has been going on since I was like five years old. It’s always been, either you going to Alabama or you’re going to Auburn,” he said. “My father grew up a huge Alabama fan and my mother was a huge Auburn fan. I just wanted to play football, it didn’t matter to me.”
The call to Tuscaloosa in order to make things official went down days ago.
“It was actually about a week ago,” Williams said. “I looked at the depth chart, me and my father did, we talked about being able to play early and to play for some great coaches. I’m not saying Auburn doesn’t have great coaches, but I was looking at tradition, winning ways, being in position to compete for a championship every year. Those things went into my decision.
“Of course I called (Mario) Cristobal first, coach (Bo) Davis and Nick Saban was the last to know. It was real exciting, they were excited about it. They are trying to put together a 2016 class that will go down in history. It feels really good to be a part of it, I’m looking forward to competing for a starting position. I understand nothing will be given to me at Alabama, I still have to work hard, I still have to compete and I still have to do what I have to do academically.”
UA made a big push for Williams this spring, offering after he was already pledged to Gus Malzahn and Auburn. Cristobal, the National Recruiter of the Year regardless of outlet, spearheaded Alabama’s charge.
“Me and coach Cristobal have developed a great relationship,” he said. “We talk about life, we talk about family. He sent condolences to me when my mom passed; he praises my father, who is a single father. He’s a great family man and that was one of the things that drew me to him.”
On the field in Tuscaloosa, Williams will suit up for Bo Davis along the defensive line. But he’s expected to dabble at multiple positions.
“They say I can play inside and outside, I can play tackle and end, two and three (technique),” he said. “I’m very versatile with my size, speed, knowledge of the game and hands. I have quick hands, so they see me excelling on their front line.”
With the commitment behind him, Williams says he will not visit any other campus going forward as he turns his focus to the Wenonah Dragons’ 2015 campaign.
“It’s a load taken off of my shoulders,” he said. “When I committed to Auburn, I shut it down for everyone. I didn’t talk to coaches, I didn’t take visits. But now that I re-opened my recruitment and saw how many schools coming at me and how many were offering, it’s just a relief now.
“I just want to tell Alabama fans that they’re getting a great player, a humble player, one willing to work hard and I’m ready to compete and win championships!”
Junior Highlights: Quinnen Williams