One of Arkansas’ official visitors for Friday’s game against Missouri has had a change of plans.
Four-star defensive tackle Mike Williams from All Saints’ Episcopal School in Fort Worth, Texas, decided to reschedule his official visit after talking to the Razorbacks’ coaches.
“They wanted me to come during a time when I could see the school as a whole, so they need the students to be there,” Williams said. “They didn’t want me to come when they were out of school (on Thanksgiving break).”
Williams is committed to Stanford and says his commitment to the Cardinal is still solid, but Arkansas has been recruiting him hard for eight or nine months.
He has been impressed with the Razorbacks’ coaches and is looking forward to visiting Fayetteville, although he doesn’t have a date set in stone yet.
“I like the coaches, but I need to see them all in person,” Williams said. “I want to see Arkansas in person. You hear stories about it, but you can’t tell with stories. You have to see it for yourself.”
Running backs coach Jemal Singleton is Williams’ main recruiter and has had a relationship with Williams since his time at Oklahoma State.
With the Razorbacks, though, it’s not only the coaches that recruit players. Fans do their part on Twitter, as well.
“Everybody that has any association with Arkansas is trying to make sure I go there, trying to persuade me to go there,” Williams said. “Everyone is helping with my recruitment.”
While Arkansas’ defense as a whole has struggled lately, Williams said he has been impressed with the job defensive line coach Rory Segrest has done.
Seeing several players on the defensive line contribute and have an impact this season is something he looks at when considering the Razorbacks.
“I feel like that ties into the type of people they recruit and the people I’d be around,” Williams said. “I know coach Segrest is doing a good job because the d-line is showing up.”
Of course, having a head coach – Bret Bielema – that is a former defensive lineman doesn’t hurt, either.
“I like knowing that the coach knows I’m important and that I’m a strong piece and have an important role,” Williams said.
Williams’ high school season ended earlier this month with a 38-31 overtime win over the Episcopal School of Dallas in the Southwest Preparatory Conference championship game.
Using that title as a barometer, he considers his senior season a success.
“We won the championship, so I feel like as long as I met that goal, I was all right,” Williams said.
Since that win, Williams has been working out and trying to enjoy his last few month of high school.
It only recently dawned on him that the next time he suits up on a football field, it’ll be in college – whether it’s at Stanford or Arkansas.
“It hit me a few days ago,” Williams said. “It’s crazy, but it is what it is. I’m looking forward to it.”