AU Offers Level Of Comfort For Williams

Auburn's newest commitment Marshall Williams talks about his decision to become a Tiger.

Decatur, Ga.--Comfort. It's a word that is often used in recruiting circles when a player makes a decision based not on depth charts but on the relationships he's built on the coaching staff and team. For Auburn's newest commitment Marshall Williams from Southwest Dekalb High the comfort level runs deeper than it does for most potential recruits.

A former player at Parkview High in Lilburn where he was once teammates with current Auburn running back Brad Lester, Williams says that he's sought out Lester when he's wanted to know about the goings on at Auburn. What he's seen and heard from Lester not only about football but about academics has him excited to be a Tiger.

"I have talked to Brad (Brad Lester) the most," Williams says. "He's a running back down there and he gives me insight on what it means to be an Auburn Tiger as a player and a student. That makes me feel comfortable.

"Auburn really takes the graduation of their athletes very serious," he adds. "That was something that stood out and is very important to me. I really notice how focused they are and how Coach (Tommy) Tuberville really does a good job of graduating his football players. I just felt like it was a place I want to play and also get my degree."

Williams is a long player who has plenty of room to grow on the next level.

An outstanding student who takes academics seriously, Williams also takes his football just as serious and that is much of the reason he made a move before his senior season to play at SW Dekalb. While he was happy with his time at Parkview, Williams says he just felt like there was something else in store for him and he found it at his new home.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Williams says. "I wanted to go somewhere that would give me a chance to show all my abilities. Southwest is that place. At Parkview I was just playing defensive end and some tight end, but at Southwest I'm playing outside linebacker, wide receiver, tight end and a little bit of running back. It's just a place I have felt comfortable. It feels like a home to me. I love the coaches and players there. I couldn't see myself anywhere else."

While many players pick and choose their camps during the summer months, Williams has been one of the busiest around taking in two Auburn senior camps in addition to a Combine in Atlanta. He says much of the reason for that is that he wants to face top competition and that was the reason he was back in Auburn last weekend despite already having an offer from his first camp visit.

"I got the offer the first camp they had, the first senior camp," Williams says. "I was just waiting and thinking about it. I went back last week and competed. I just felt like it was the right place for me to go. Last week I just wanted to compete because I went against Caleb (Caleb King) and some good running backs in the first camp. I knew the running back from Kell (Jonathan Dwyer) was going to be there. I just wanted to match my skills against him. I felt pretty good after going back down there."

The camp experience last weekend wasn't only to face top competition, but it was also another chance for Williams to get a feel for the Auburn coaching staff. Being recruited by Terry Price and also linebackers coach James Willis, Williams says that he just felt as ease all weekend and that let him know his recruiting was over.

"I just felt comfortable with them," Williams says. "I'm not very big, but I'm fast. He (Willis) was telling me that Auburn is the place where fast linebackers play.

"He kept working with me on reads and how you don't always have to use your speed to make the play and you can use your tools and your smarts. I just felt like he was the right coach I wanted to play under. He made me feel real comfortable."

Williams now gets down to business as he prepares for his senior season. Starting at outside linebacker, he says he's looking forward to having a strong senior season both on the field and in the classroom now that he's got his decision out of the way.

"It's a relief," Williams says. "Now I really won't have to go through all the phone calls and all the coaches wanting to visit. Now I can get it out of the way and focus on football and school right now. Now it's just the season and school."

2006 Inside the Auburn Tigers Auburn Football Guide

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories