"Auburn made a great impression on him. It was close to home. Being honest with you he really liked it. He loved the facilities. The coaching staff was great. We got to talk to the head coach (Gus Malzahn) as soon as we got there. Coach Gus came in there freewheeling like he was a regular coach. We had a conversation with him and talked to just about every single coach on the offensive staff. They liked him a lot and he liked Auburn a lot."
Playing on a team that failed to win a single game last season, Williams still managed to run for 905 yards and scored 13 touchdowns in seven games while piling up 2,300 all-purpose yards using his brute power and surprising speed. At 6-0, 217, Williams has been timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash and his coach compares him to current Georgia back Todd Gurley because of that combination of size and quickness.
With Auburn and Arkansas at the top of his list at the moment and also with offers from Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Vanderbilt and several other schools, Gilmore said it's pretty cut-and-dried for his standout back at the moment.
"It's plain and simple, he just wants to stay in the SEC," Gilmore said. "If he goes outside the SEC it's going to be Arizona State. Auburn and Arkansas are the main two and he made it clear that he likes Auburn a lot."
Without much early recognition because he wasn't able to attend many camps, Gilmore said Williams has really caught the eye of several programs after they had the opportunity to see him on film. Capable of running through opponents and also breaking it for the distance, his coach sees big things ahead for the back on the next level.
"He's a monster," Gilmore said. "First of all he's SEC ready right now. He's brutally physical and a super-smart kid. He's football savvy. As far as his physical attributes, they're off the charts. If I had to describe his running style it's probably Adrian Peterson, that's why he wears 28. He's very violent. The first guy will never bring him down."
Coming from a school that has been a consistent producer of talent with over 200 players signing college scholarships in the last 20 years, Williams is on par with the best of the best said Gilmore. That's strong words considering names such as Kordell Stewart and Reggie Wayne played for the Eagles.
"Out of all of those kids he's probably more talented than all of them," Gilmore said. "He's kind of on Kordell's level as far as just pure talent and athleticism. People always compare him to Leonard because they're in the same city, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Darrel become the better college back. All of our coaching staff played college ball and we prepare our kids for that. He benches 375 pounds and squats 540. He's 17 years old and still growing."