But then he realized he was a little too big to be a running back and found his niche along the defensive line instead.
But DeShaun Williams found out he was every bit as good as a defensive
lineman as his father was as a running back, which is why Clemson offered
the rising junior from Daniel High School earlier this week and why the
6-foot-1, 280-pound defensive lineman gave Clemson his commitment earlier this
"I think I have a great connection with the coaches and with Coach (Dan)
Brooks from the start," Williams said. "I had a great one-day session camp
"Coach (Brad) Scott, Coach (Dabo) Swinney and Coach Brooks really feel
like I have a good chance in their scheme. Again, I just jumped on it
because a lot of people don't get these kinds of offers like this at the
end of their sophomore year so I had to jump on it."
He also jumped on it because he has been a Clemson fan since the day he
In fact, Williams is born with more orange in his blood than
most Clemson fans considering his father is former Clemson running back
"It plays a lot into it because my dad played for Clemson. My whole family
is Clemson fans and I just want to see my family in the stands when I play
on Saturdays," DeShawn Williams said. "I don't have to worry about how my
family is going to get to this game or that game. I live just two minutes
from the stadium so they can come up here anytime they want."
The elder Williams rushed for 1,824 yards during his three-year career for
the Tigers from 1990-'92. He scored 13 touchdowns and still holds the
freshman record for rushing yards in a season when he rushed for 941 yards
to earn ACC Rookie of the Year and First-Team All-ACC honors in 1990.
"When I was little I would try to play running back, but I knew I was a
little bit bigger than my Dad and I would have to play defense," DeShaun
Williams said. "He told me to do what I do best and that is play
Few do it better than Williams.
Last year, he earned All-Area honors as
well as All-Western AAA honors after totaling 82 tackles, nine tackles for
a loss and seven sacks from his defensive front position. Along with
teammate and 2010 Clemson commitment DeAndre Hopkins, Williams helped the
Lions to a 13-1 record last season.
"Right now, technique wise, he is way ahead of Jarvis (Jenkins), but as
far as raw talent, obviously Jarvis is one of those you don't see many
times," said Daniel High School head coach Randy Robinson, who also
coached Jenkins before he became a Clemson Tiger in 2007. "But I will say
right now, DeShaun is way ahead of Jarvis as far as technique and work
Robinson said Williams has dropped 15 pounds since last summer and has
already made a commitment to eating better and working harder.
"He Played at 295 last year and right now he is at 280," Robinson said.
"He got serious about controlling what he eats and lost a few pounds. In
spring practice we could not block him. He is so quick. He has always had
good feet, but now his hands and his blocking out have really improved.
"He is taking the fundamentals real serious in the off-season and has been
working on it."
Robinson says Williams still needs to get stronger, which he says will not
be a problem given that he is still just 15 years old and has two years
left in high school. As far as how strong his commitment is to Clemson -
it can't be any stronger.
"This commitment is very firm," said Williams, who made this decision
after talking to his mother, Melissa Hamilton, last night. "It's like what
Coach Swinney says, everyone has to be All-in and I'm All-in to Clemson.
I'm going to be prepared for what these other colleges will try to throw
at me, but my commitment stands clear, I'm with Clemson through and true.
"It doesn't matter what they do. I'm staying with Clemson throughout my
whole high school career. I have a great coaching staff at Daniel that
knows that this is the decision I want to make and that I'm going to stick
He is already proven that to be true by canceling scheduled football camp
visits to Alabama and
North Carolina and says he will not go on anymore visits.
"DeShawn loves Clemson," Robinson said. "I told Coach Scott that 'If you
offer, he may jerk you arm off.' That's what he did."
Williams has also been getting strong interest from Tennessee, Oregon,
South Carolina and Louisville.
"Coach Scott and Coach Powell told me he was the most dominant linemen
down there (Monday)," Robinson said. "They told him upfront that they were
committed to him and he is locked in with Clemson."
His blood runneth orange
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