Friendly Rivals

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with a pair of buddies - Arkansas commit Cruz Williams and USC commit Joe Adams - who took in the Razorbacks' game last Saturday. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner for details.

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Pulaski Academy star wideout and University of Arkansas commit Cruz Williams (6-5, 205, 4.5) has not given up hope.

He still believes he has the opportunity to flip his buddy from USC to Arkansas.

That would be one Joe Adams (6-1, 180, 4.4), a star wide receiver, kick returner and defensive back for Central Arkansas Christian and someone who committed to the Trojans back in August.

"I am trying my hardest to get Joe to change his mind," Williams said. "He doesn't need to go out to USC. I told him ‘you don't really want to live out there for the next four years, do you? You need to stay home, play for your home team and represent for the Razorbacks.'"

Adams, who was on the sidelines Saturday night with Williams, says that Williams certainly isn't the only one in his ear trying to get him to flip back to the home team.

"I am still getting love every day from Arkansas fans, players and coaches," Adams said. "(Arkansas') Marcus Monk keeps telling me I need to stay in state and D-Dawg (former CAC star and current Razorback D.J. Williams) tells me I need to stay and be a Razorback.

"Also there are people at CAC who come up to me with Arkansas jerseys on and point to Arkansas," Adams said. "They all just wanted to play in Fayetteville and I appreciate the fact that they do."

Adams has been getting a lot of attention from new UA running back coach Tim Horton, who has made a favorable impression on the young man.

"He's a great coach and I really like talking to him," Adams said. "He calls me once every week and we sit down and have a little talk. I also talk to (Arkanss head coach) Houston Nutt a lot. I'm feeling good about Arkansas now."

The pair battled on the football field earlier this season with the Bruins and Mustangs battling to a 26-26 tie.

"Joe is an outstanding athlete and a great friend," Williams said. "We played AAU basketball together. It was a great (football) game, but I think we should have won it. I've never even heard of a game ending in a tie until this year."

Adams would like to have played overtime as well, but the state of Arkansas doesn't have that rule for non-conference games.

"It was fun although I wish we could have gone into overtime," Adams said. "I had fun out there playing against Cruz and the rest of the Pulaski Academy guys. I know them well and (PA head) Coach (Kevin) Kelly."

Both young men are having great seasons with Williams having hauled in 50 passes for 623 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Adams has 11 catches for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns, has rushed for 259 yards and 6 touchdowns, had picked off 3 passes and returned them 163 yards – including one score.

He's even lined up at quarterback and gone 5 for 8 passing for 74 yards and a score.

"We both can make a few plays," Williams said. "That's one reason we need to go to Arkansas and make them together."

Greenwood downed Pulaski Academy 56-55 in last season's Class 5A title game.

"It starts in practice and I have been trying be a leader and step up every day," Williams said. "We are really getting it going and hopefully we will back to the state championship game and hopefully it will be against Greenwood again."

Williams had to watch Arkansas' losses to both Alabama and Kentucky on TV.

"It's tough," Williams said. "I have wanted to play for the Razorbacks since the ninth grade and I have been looking up to them since I was a little boy. Sitting at home, I have been watching them and thinking I am going to be playing there next year and helping them win."

Williams, who has been on hand for a couple of Arkansas wins this season, plans to become a full-fledged Razorback as soon as possible.

"I am going to come in and work my hardest from the first summer school on," Williams said. "I want to get bigger, get faster and try my hardest to get a starting spot right away."

Joe Adams

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