Just minutes after Dora (Ala.) defensive end Chavis Williams committed to the University of Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon, Auburn coaches called trying to get him to re-direct that pledge.
Basically too little, too late and that's one of the biggest reasons that Williams (6-5, 220, 4.6) – who Arkansas assistant Mike Markuson got to first - will be a Razorback instead of a Tiger next season.
"I am totally committed to Arkansas because they were the first ones to get on me when nobody else cared and was showing any love," Williams said. "Coach Markuson believe in me and I am going to reward him for that. The fact that they are blowing up now just makes it that much better."
Williams, who has 8 sacks among his 81 tackles this season, got his offer from Arkansas in the past week and was also getting interest from Auburn, UAB, Alabama and Marshall.
"Arkansas is getting not only a great player, but a great kid," Dora head coach Johnny Wright said. "Last year he was a good player, but we made a challenge to him after last season to take all that potential he had and to step up and be a great player his senior season and that's exactly what has happened."
"Arkansas had been excited about him all along, but we got a highlight tape of him together and got it out last week, they watched it and wanted to make sure they got him all taken care of before everybody else knows what hit them," Wright said. "That's just what happened. Auburn called right after they heard he had committed, but he told them he is headed to Arkansas and nothings going to change his mind."
Williams, who also plays tight end and has caught six touchdown passes this season, is averaging 9 tackles per game even though opponents are running away from him now.
"He has become a dominant player with speed that can just not be blocked," Wright said. "He either uses his speed to get around you before you know what happens or he just goes through you. He made up his mind this spring that he wanted to play college ball and went to work."
Williams, who has never been to Fayetteville and won't make it until after his season is over for his official visit, actually started following the Razorbacks before they began following him.
"I have been watching their games on television the last two seasons and just fell in love with what they have going on up there," Williams said. "The fact that they beat both Alabama and Auburn makes it even better. I'm looking forward to coming back to my state as a Razorback."
Wright said Arkansas has a lot of new fans in Dora, which is about 30 minutes away from Birmingham and an hour from Tuscaloosa per Williams.
"He is excited, I am excited for him and we have a lot of our people here in Dora that are going to become big Razorback fans and root him on," Wright said. "He's never been up there, but I have and I know what a quality program he is going to and how Coach Markuson is going to take care of him."
Dora is 8-1 this season and has already clinched a spot in the state playoffs.
"We have really only had one bad half this year and it cost us," Williams said. "But we feel like we've really got a chance to make a run at a title. I'm just happy I will do it as a future Razorback."
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