Impressive Junior Excited To Visit Auburn

Class of 2016 lineman Jonah Williams from California tells Inside the Auburn Tigers he is excited to get back to Auburn this weekend.

Folsom, Calif.--Expected to be one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country for the 2016 recruiting class, big Jonah Williams will be making a trip across the country this weekend to get another look at the Auburn Tigers after traveling to the Plains last July.

Growing up in Georgia with a mom who is an Auburn graduate, Williams is already very familiar with the program and campus, but this weekend it’s about getting to know the coaches and people around the program.

“I’m really excited,” Williams tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “We were able to walk around campus and see everything from the outside, but it’s always a special experience to kind of see the inner workings of Auburn football. I have been fortunate enough to experience that for a few other schools, but never Auburn.

“Another thing is meeting the people,” he added. “You have all the things like the facilities, the fields, the stadium, they are all just an empty shell without the people in them. It will be great to actually personally meet the coaches and spend some time with them and the players and other recruits and just get a feel for the personnel at Auburn.”

One of the exciting things for Williams is getting the opportunity to sit down and talk with Coach Gus Malzahn and Auburn O-Line Coach J.B. Grimes. While he’s followed the Tigers closely and kept a keen eye on how they do things, actually sitting down with them and getting to know them is something he’s looking forward to.

“Coach Grimes reached out to my coach first after he watched my film,” Williams said. “He was just asking him about my character and stuff. I always think that’s important when that’s the first thing a coach asks about. He seems like a very genuine guy and to the point. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to meet him.

“He does a great job when you look at the linemen that come out of Auburn every year,” he added. “It will be good to be around him and see what he’s all about and essentially what Auburn is all about.”

A player who believes in a strong coach-player relationship on every level, Williams said because of that it has meant doing a little research to make sure understands Auburn’s system from an offensive-line perspective so he can have some basic understanding of what the Tigers do.

“It’s very important to me,” Williams said of getting to know the ins and outs of potential coaches. “I’ll just use this as an example because it’s what I’m immersed in now, but I really enjoy being around my high school coaches and really respect them. They understand the game extremely well and every time I spend time with them it’s an opportunity to learn and I have a lot of respect for them.

“Being in a situation where I have respect for the coaches, I just think that’s going to be conducive to learning the schemes and completely understanding the game,” he added. “I have been trying to do some research on my own of trying to understand Malzahn’s inside zone-read and some of the basic packages they run. It will be good to talk to them to see how they see me fitting in to their system, kind of similarly to how I fit in our offense in high school.

"Definitely being around them is going to be important," the prospect pointed out. "I know I’m going to enjoy learning because I love the game of football. It will be cool to see who I would be learning that from.”

Already with offers from much of the Pac 12 including Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State and others, Williams also has scholarship offers from Boise State, Colorado, Northwestern and Duke. Still very early in the process and wanting to make the best decision possible when the time comes, he said for him the goal isn’t adding scholarship offers but about becoming a better player and person along the way.

“I’m not an attention seeker,” Williams said. “I don’t love attention. I’m not one to go all these camps. I’m just a high school football player currently that’s working to win state again and gel with my team all at the same time while looking at my future. I don’t look at recruiting so much as it’s great to get all of these offers and attention, it’s more exciting to have these opportunities in my life.

“I have a lot of good friends that are great football players, but don’t have all these opportunities," he said. "I just try to be grateful for having that chance. It has been good to see the hard work paying off. I know my coaches are a big reason for that. They have a great network and I know they speak highly of me. It has been nice.”

With a trip to Auburn coming up and more interest coming his way from the Tigers, getting an offer down the line isn’t out of the question for Williams. Growing up watching the team and cheering them on while growing up in Georgia, he said if and when the word comes it will be a special day.

“It would mean a lot,” Williams said. “I don’t have really any geographical necessity to go to this region or this conference or this school or anything, but it’s definitely a place that is special to me down there where I grew up and my mom went to school. It would mean a lot to me from a football perspective being a fan and from the perspective, that’s where my roots are from playing football down there. It would definitely mean a lot to me and it would be a pretty cool moment for my family.”

Williams plays offensive tackle for Folsom and helped them to a state championship, but is athletic enough to play anywhere on the line on the next level. Watch him in action here as a junior.


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