Darrell Williams, a 6-2, 198-pound linebacker, blossomed into a prospect during his sophomore season when he took advantage of an opportunity to play for his Hoover High team that made a run all the way to winning the Class 6A championship game.
"Last year at the beginning of the season I was a third stringer and that was pretty tough," Williams recalls. "We had issues with a guy on the team. Our coaches gave me an opportunity to play and I made the most of it."
Williams is shown as a sophomore at Hoover.
He moved into a starting role and finished the season with 52 tackles and looks ready to do even more as a junior. Obviously, college coaches see the potential, too, for a linebacker who covers a lot of ground from sideline to sideline.
"Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Tennessee and Florida State have offered scholarships," he says. "Mississippi State was the first offer me. We went to their spring game and a couple of weeks after that I got an offer."
The linebacker is hoping an offer from the Tigers will be coming, too. He met with AU coaches after the camp on Saturday before heading home.
"Auburn has a strong program and an advantage over everyone else because I have been coming to their camps," he points out. "It would mean a lot to me to get that offer."
The son of former Southern Miss player Darrell Williams, he has a connection with Auburn defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Ellis Johnson, who coached his dad for USM in Hattiesburg.
A three-sport athlete for Hoover, Williams says he isn't certain if he will play basketball as a junior, but plans to stay with track throughout high school because it helps his speed. He notes his best time in the 40-yard dash is a 4.50. He says that he slipped on his start when running a 40 at Auburn and had a clocking of 4.65.
Commenting on how the overall camp went for him, he says, ""I feel like I did pretty good. I just tried to do what the coaches told me to do."
Asked what his strength is as a linebacker, Williams notes he has improved at playing in open space. "I like covering guys a lot more than I did," he says. "I think that is what I do best, but there is always room to improve."
Hoover is on a strong run in Class 6A and if Williams is correct don't look for the Bucs to be rebuilding this fall. "I think we have a chance to be better," he says.