Williams No Longer Under The Radar

The way recruiting has changed in the past few years, by the time the month of May rolls around top high school players are clearly identified by the scouting services and they have already pocketed their share of scholarship offers. Over at Jacksonville First Coast, cornerback Jamire Williams may have gone un-noticed by the scouting services but college coaches know exactly who he is. He's got offers from some big time programs already and more are sure to follow.

(See Jamire Williams profile)

UConn, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, Clemson, and Auburn already have sent the 6-0, 180-pound Williams written offers and it seems that every day when he opens his mail box there is another one waiting. A lot of schools got film on him late but ever since his film has circulated, the scholarship offers have poured in.

This is the spring evaluation period, a time of year when college coaches can visit high school campuses to get an up close and personal look at the talented kids they hope to recruit. There has been a steady flow of college coaches to the First Coast campus to take a look at Williams.

"Florida came and saw me on Friday," he said. "A bunch of others have come by to see me."

The Gators are in desperate need for increased depth at the cornerback position. Even with a class of possibly three showing up in June Florida's numbers at the position are thin. It is possible that in the spring of 2007 Florida could have only four scholarship corners.

The numbers game makes Williams a prime target for Florida.

"I didn't talk to him but Coach (Greg) Mattison (Florida defensive coordinator) came to see me on Friday," Williams said. "He told my coach that he would love me to play for them. He said I was a great athlete and my grades were good."

Mattison's presence at the First Coast practice was noticed by Williams. Williams has plenty of Florida connections because there are four First Coast alums on the Florida football roster.

"I was a Florida fan growing up," he said. "Reggie Lewis (senior cornerback) is one I followed and still do. I talked to Reggie Friday. He tries to teach me drills and stuff all the time. He says Florida is a good school and that if I go there I would have to work hard. If someone's in front of you, you just have to out-work them to get that spot."

He also got a glimpse of a future Gator on Saturday night. While attending an international food festival in Jacksonville, Williams and some of his teammates ran into D'Angelo McCray and a few of his teammates. McCray, who plays for cross-town rival Jackson, is already committed to the Florida Gators. Jackson and First Coast square off in a little more than a week in a jamboree style game.

As you might expect with rival high schools, there was the usual amount of jawing that went on but Williams and McCray managed to stay out of it.

"We play Jackson on the 18th," he said. "I ran into D'Angelo McCray last night. My teammates talked some smack, but I believe in waiting until the game and let my game do the talking."

When McCray sees Williams next time, it could be at a variety of positions. Because Williams runs a 40 in the 4.35 range, the First Coast coaches try to get the ball in his hands in a variety of ways.

"I might play a little bit of receiver, punt returner and kick returner, but mostly cornerback," he said. On defense I can read well, I love the contact and I do what ever I have to do. I am a play in their face kind of guy. I want to show them that I am the best. I'm not nervous and I want to go out there and show them what I have."

Coaches who have seen Williams play tend to compare him to former Georgia star Champ Bailey, an NFL standout that played on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs. That is high praise for a player that has flown under the radar until recently. However, it's pretty evident his under the radar days are over.

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