Utah sure loves Las Vegas. Some of Utah's best players in recent memory hail from Sin City including linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, running back Eddie Wide, and current Ute wide receiver Devonte Christopher. It's no secret the Utes love to recruit the Las Vegas area and its there that they believe they've found their next gem.
The Utah coaches first caught site of Marcus Williams, a 5'11" 202lb running back out of Durango High School, at the Nike SPARQ Combine in early April. Despite facing off against over 1,300 athletes, Williams set himself apart by posting the highest score at the camp which included a 4.43 clock-timed 40, the fastest time among all participants. Shortly after camp concluded the Utah coaches began making their calls.
"They started getting in touch with me after the Nike Combine, toward the end of April. They started contacting me through my coaches and eventually came down to watch our spring practices. Coach Jay Hill and I talked a lot and he did a good job of telling me about Utah. He's a cool dude. He was always real honest with me. He told me about the program, the education there, and mainly what their focus is this season in the Pac-12 and I liked everything I heard."
Over the next two months Williams stayed in close contact with Utah as other programs continued their pursuit. Though offers rolled in from Idaho, New Mexico, and New Mexico State it started to become clear to Williams that Utah was the place he wanted to be.
"I would say [I made up my mind] when I went up for their Elite Camp in June. I got to meet the coaching staff and they were really cool. I got a good tour of the campus and it's nice. I didn't commit right there because I had to go to a few more camps and see what the others schools offered but I definitely liked the Utes at that point."
Williams saw limited playing time following his transfer from Bishop Gorman last season, but he showed in just three games that he's a powerful downhill runner who can explode through holes on a first cut. His lack of time on the field kept his number of offers down, but Williams is confident he has the tools to make a difference and help the Utes succeed.
"I know [Utah] runs a multiple-scheme offense. The running back gets a lot of touches and gets to run routes and catch the ball a lot and I like that. I like to run, I like to catch, and I can do whatever the coaches think I should be doing. I know that they have a great running back right now that's a senior and after he leaves I'll have a great chance to compete for a job."
Before his contact with the Utes began Williams admits he didn't know a lot about the program but says he's excited for the challenge the Pac-12 will present to him.
"I didn't really have an idea [about Utah] to be honest. I've been up to Salt Lake back when I was about 8 but I've never visited the college before. I've seen Utah on TV a few times though and I really like how they play. They play hard and it shows. The whole Pac-12 just adds to the program as well. I like the Pac-12 because it's close to home. It's a lot of competition in the Pac-12, that's where the best are and you get to see them every day."
With his final year of high school just around the corner Williams says he's excited to live out his senior year before enrolling at Utah. Knowing that more offers are sure to come over the next few months he insists Ute fans have nothing to worry about – his commitment is solid.
"I plan on finishing my whole senior year and coming in to school next fall. After that it's all about Utah, I just want to go to Utah. That's where I want to be."
Utah Lands Marcus Williams
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