LB Williams Discusses Auburn And Recruiting

Four-star linebacker Darrell Williams from Hoover High School talks in-depth about his interest in Auburn and where he stands with his commitment to Coach Gus Malzahn's team.

Hoover, Ala.--Auburn linebacker verbal commitment Darrell Williams said he is looking forward to a return trip to the Plains on Saturday to watch the Tigers take on LSU.

Williams made the comments after helping Hoover High take a 42-14 victory at the home field of cross-town rival Spain Park on Thursday night.

“I am looking forward to it because I know LSU has a good team and they are starting that freshman quarterback (Brandon Harris),” the four-star prospect said.

“And I know Auburn, we had two linebackers down,” Williams said of Tiger starters Cassanova McKinzy and Kris Frost, who were injured last Saturday in a victory over Louisiana Tech.

Williams notes he has discussed that subject with Ellis Johnson, Auburn’s defensive coordinator and linebacker coach. “I know Coach Johnson, I have been talking to him. They are training their backups to work hard. Somebody is going to have to step up.

“The offensive lineman (tackle Patrick Miller) got hurt with an ankle sprain,” Williams added. “Somebody is going to have to step up. It is how we play. If somebody goes down we have got to have somebody step up. Coach and me, we talk about that all the time. I can’t wait to get down there again.”

Despite his enthusiasm for the Tigers, Williams hasn’t closed the door on listening to recruiting pitches from other colleges. He took a visit to the Florida at Alabama game last month and said he may make an official visit to check out the Tide during the season. He said that he will likely take his official visit to Auburn after the season as well as a trip for an official visit to Oklahoma.

“They (Auburn) are kind of pulling away, but I still like to talk to Alabama every now and then,” Williams said. “I am pretty in love with Auburn so we’ll see. That looks like it might be where I am taking my talents to next year. I still have got to keep an open mind. You only get this opportunity to be recruited once so I am going to take it all in and get as much as you can while you can.”

Commenting on his visit to Auburn’s Homecoming game last Saturday, Williams said, “It went pretty good. I kind of got a little more feel of it even though I have been down there a lot. It was kind of a good step for me to be around the coaches.”

Seeing his possible future teammates in action was a good thing, the prospect pointed out. “It helps a lot because you kind of want to see all aspects of a team, especially the team you are thinking about going forward to so as much as I can get opportunities to be around them, be around the coaches and talk to them, talk to them about their school and their athletics is just...anything will help.”

Williams said he has been impressed with the improvement of Auburn’s defense in the second season under the direction of Johnson.

“I?feel like they are kind of underrated as far as unit defense because I feel like their defensive line gets a little bit of credit--not as much as they should. I feel like their secondary doesn’t get as much credit as they should even though they still have to work to get better. I feel like they are working pretty hard and are getting better.”

Williams remembers a conversation he had with Gus Malzahn prior to last week’s victory over Louisiana Tech, particularly about Frost’s role in the game. “Coach Malzahn talked to me last week and told me he wanted me to watch how the off the edge blitzes come. They were going to put it on them and I was taking notes and listening.”

The prospect said it was exciting to see the plan be successful in the game and added, “It is also exciting that they can put me at any position at linebacker and play me. That is much better because you get on the field quicker.”

The prospect pointed out he likes the intensity he is seeing from Auburn’s defense.

“That is really important because how we are taught here is all-out, full head of steam,” he said, noting that he likes how the Tigers play with “heart” on defense. “It is a good feeling because you kind of want teammates like that and for everybody to be on the same page with how hard they are playing. You couldn’t ask for any better teammates. I?think they are doing pretty good. ”

Darrell Williams

Williams said that Auburn’s coaches haven’t said anything to him about cutting off recruiting contact with Alabama and Oklahoma. He also noted that the Tigers have an ally in their effort to keep him committed.

“My mom and family were Alabama fans, but Auburn has done a better job of recruiting her,” Williams pointed out. “That is really what brought my mom to like Auburn more because of how the coaches interact with her and how the wives are with her. Alabama, she feels like they don’t talk to her as much That is kind of bad for them because that is kind of holding them back because you want the mom and the player to be on one accord.

“At the end of the day it is still my decision, but I want my mom to feel comfortable wherever I go,” Williams added. “I mean, that is a big deal.”

Williams helped his Hoover Bucs take control in their rivalry game vs. Spain Park. “It was a good game, a good matchup,” he said. “I feel like they are pretty good team, but I feel like we work harder and we put in more work.

"It is kind of the two city schools and I feel like we are the better team so we came out and did what we are supposed to do. We put it on them. I don’t feel like it was our greatest game, but I feel the way we fight, with how hard we play, it just overtakes everything so that is why the scoreboard looks like it does.”

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