Shaw High cornerback Brandon Williams told Inside the Auburn Tigers on Monday that he plans to sign with Coach Tommy Tuberville's team in February. At 6-1, 195 pounds with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash, he is the physical, tall and fast type of defensive back that SEC colleges are beating the bushes to find. Colleges from around the Southeast have been trying to get Williams interested in their programs, however, Auburn has been a strong leader for months.
Williams has very quick feet and excellent man-to-man coverage skills. He has also developed a reptutation as a physical football player who doesn't shy away from contact.
"Brandon has terrific speed and is a real competitor," Shaw High Coach Charlie Flowers told Inside the Auburn Tigers. "He is a great young man who is a pleasure to coach. I am not sure what position he is going to play at Auburn. He could be a cornerback or he could be a free safety."
Flowers says that Williams picked the Tigers over Georgia and noted that the defensive back also considered North Carolina State and Louisville.
Williams says that his experience at the Mississippi State game on Saturday convinced him that he wants to be an Auburn Tiger. "I am excited about my decision," Williams says. "The Tiger Walk was great. The crowd was great and I really enjoyed the football game. I just loved it. I want to be a part of that People kept telling me to 'stick them' even though I wasn't playing. I thought that was great. "
Auburn won the game to improve to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the SEC. Williams says he liked the intensity of the Tiger defense in that contest and is excited about the opportunity to become a part of the group.
Williams and the Shaw Raiders are having a big season. They are 5-0 after beating cross-town rival Kendrick 42-18 on Friday night. Playing free safety, Williams has 33 tackles but no interceptions yet. "The other teams just won't pass it my direction," he notes. "The last game against Kendrick, the other team passed the ball a lot, but they never threw it in the middle where I was playing and I was mad about that. The other teams are only throwing at the corners so I am going to ask my coaches if I can play some there."
Williams bench presses 315 pounds. He squats 425 and power cleans 275. "I would say my strength as a player is my man to man pass coverage skills. I also try to be an aggressive player and a team player."
Shaw returns to action on Friday night at home with a game against Peach County. "I think they are undefeated so that should be a fun game," Williams says.
As a junior, he was a key performer on a strong Central High team in Phenix City., Ala. As a senior he moved across the Chattahoochee River and over the state line to become a star on a Shaw team that is given a good chance to repeat as Georgia AAAA state champs.
Brandon Williams (4) was a standout at an Auburn football camp this past summer.
Williams says he enjoyed talking to redshirt freshman Antarrious Williams, the 2000 Shaw High star who is being redshirted at Auburn this year. "He told me it is a great place and that I will like it at Auburn," the current Shaw star notes. Williams, who was a standout at an AU summer camp, says the Tigers have been high on his list since that visit to Auburn.
Shaw is loaded with prospects this year with more than a dozen players (counting underclassmen) getting looks from college scouts. Flowers is the architect of building a program at the relatively new school on the northside of Columbus that had little tradition of success on the gridiron before he arrived.
Auburn's football verbal commitments include the following prospects:
*Justin Bruce, a 6-9, 250, 4.6, TE, Pepperell High, Lindale, Ga.
*Kevis Burnam, 6-2, 230, 4.6, LB, Macon County High, Montezuma, Ga.
*Oliver King, 6-2, 215, 4.5 LB, North Surry High, Mount Airy, N.C.
*Kevin Sears, 6-4 1/2, 217-pound, 4.6, DB, Russellville, Ala., High.
*Brennis Smith, 6-4, 270, 4.8, DE, Hinds, Miss., Community College.
*William Ward, a 6-2, 250, 4.9, C, Prattville High.
*Greg Wilkerson, 6-2, 230, 4.6, LB, Bowdown, Ga., High
*Seante Williams, 6-5, 250, 4.65, DE, Coffeyville, Kan., Community College.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Shaw's offensive line looks like a group of major college players in size. Two of those Raiders were on the Auburn campus for unofficial visits to the Mississippi State game--tackles Eddie Underwood and Marcellus Washington. Williams says both players are interested in the Tigers and so is another player receiving Division I interest, wide receiver and defensive back Troy Bergeron. Williams notes, "Marcellus is the first person I told that I am going to Auburn. He is very interested in Auburn, too, and is hoping that Coach (Hugh) Nall offers him a scholarship."
Brandon Williams (4) plays defense this season in a 34-7 victory over Central of Phenix City, Ala., one of the top Class 6A powers in Alabama. (Photos by Mark Murphy)