RECRUITING: It's Down To 2 For Justin Williams

It's pretty much down to two schools for Justin Williams, the elusive wide receiver from Folkston (GA) Charlton County who also doubles as an outstanding defensive back. While nearly every Southeastern Conference School would love to have this big time player as a commit, it looks like there is a border war shaping up here although one school seems to have a clear lead.

(See profile of Justin Williams)

While the Georgia Bulldogs are certain to put the full court press on Justin Williams when he visits Athens in a week, it's the Florida Gators who seem to be in the driver's seat for this 6-2, 183-pounder who will be visiting Florida again on July 22.

Florida's emphasis on bringing in top receivers and defensive backs for the recruiting class of 2006 makes Williams a can't miss prospect. He could make it onto the playing field quickly at either position and perhaps that is one of the reasons he's visited Gainesville so many times.

"Florida and Georgia have recruited me the hardest," said Williams, who helped Charlton County win the Class 2A championship in Georgia last year. "I have narrowed it down to Florida and Georgia. I don't have a lot to say about Georgia, but I am going over there the 8th and the 9th.

"I have been to Florida a lot and I like it down there. I was there on June 4th. At first I went down there to take my SAT. Then, we had a meeting and then went to Lake Wauberg. I was up there with Chris Leak and all of them. Coach (Billy) Gonzalez is recruiting me and is a cool guy, and he stays on me. He stays in touch with me. I like Coach (Urban) Meyer a lot."

Last season, Williams caught 39 passes for 810 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, he had 33 tackles and five interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He also recovered one fumble which he returned for a touchdown.

When Williams visited Florida in June, he began a friendship that has been growing ever since with Jamar Hornsby, everybody's All-American from Jacksonville Sandalwood. Like Williams, Hornsby plays and dominates games on both sides of the ball.

"Me and Jamar Hornsby are real close now since that day," he said. "He is a cool guy. It's only about 45 minutes to Jacksonville."

Although he has been to Gainesville several times already, Williams looks to be a sure thing on July 22 when several other top recruits have indicated that they will be stopping in at UF at the same time.

"I have been to Gainesville about six or seven times," he said. "I think I am going on the 22nd of July … they are having a junior day or something.

It's not all trips to college campuses for Williams. When he's home in Folkston, you'll likely find him working out with his Charlton County teammates. They are on a mission to repeat as state champs in 2005.

"I have been working out with my team," he said. "We should do it again. We are just so-so on middle linebacker and trying to get it right. Everywhere else we are straight. I will be going both ways this year. I like offense and will play that at the collegiate level. On offense, I just make plays. On defense I am just a playmaker too."

Williams has indicated that he won't be making his college choice a long, drawn-out decision. He's getting closer to pulling the trigger on a commitment and thinks that he will come to a definite conclusion before school starts at the end of the summer.

"I have been thinking about when I am going to make a decision … It might be in August," he said emphatically.

There is more to Justin Williams than athletics. He sees football as his ticket to college, but he sees college as the place that can groom him as a young man who is ready to take on the game of life.

"I want to go where I will get my education and the coaches aren't focused just on football but on us as people," he said.

Justin Williams is coming down the homestretch in the recruiting process. With a probable commitment date in August, he only has a short time to weigh his thoughts. This looks like it's Florida vs. Georgia for the final choice. When August rolls around, the Gators will know for sure if they've won this border war.

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