Williams another Orlando-based target

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Orlando is widely known as the place where dreams come true — at least for a portion of America's youth.

Tennessee knows Orlando as a fertile country for accumulating football prospects like current Volunteers Maurice Couch, Alton Howard and Corey Vereen.

Volunteers coaches have their shovels and lanterns in tow as they prepare to mine Orlando again in the 2015 class, this time for Garrett Williams.

The 6-foot-4, 223-pounder plays a variety of positions for The First Academy and ranks by FOX Sports/Scout as a four-star prospect.

Williams visited Knoxville unofficially to see Tennessee upset South Carolina 23-21. He made note of seeing Howard in action again.

"I was in eighth or ninth grade when (Howard) was doing really, really well at Edgewater High School," Williams said. "So, I was over there every game watching him and some other guys like Karl Joseph, who's at West Virginia and all those guys."

The No. 191 player in the 2015 class saw gameday at various locations this fall. What he saw on Rocky Top (attendance of 102,455) compares favorably.

"Not quite like that," Williams said. "I mean that was incredible. It's the most fans I've ever been around, it's the biggest stadium I've been in. They were awesome.

"Absolutely (helps Tennessee). They're already top ones on my list. This obviously helps them. The atmosphere is crazy here, and the coaching staff is incredible."

Williams is nearly at two-dozen scholarship offers from BCS-level programs. He doesn't have finalists but a trio sticks out.

"I would say Florida State, Clemson, Tennessee," he said. "There's others too. I don't really have anything finalized. There are other ones but those are the ones I'd say right now."

Prospects have a long list of items of importance from which to choose when checking out colleges, weighing their options. The tight end is no different.

"As far as football-wise, I would definitely say how they use the tight end," the No. 7 tight end in the 2015 class said. "Who the coach is obviously is a huge thing."

Williams elaborated saying he prefers his head coach and position coach to "be there for while and be someone I can look up to character-wise."

Williams met with first-year Tennessee head coach Butch Jones this summer and has a well-developed relationship with Vols tight ends coach Mark Elder.

"I love coach Elder," Williams said. "I love the way he coaches. I love the man he is because he's a genuine guy. I've spent a lot of time with him on the phone and I spent a lot of time with him on campus. I feel like I know him pretty well. He's a great guy."

Playing primarily fullback, Williams rushed for 68 yards on five carries for The First Academy in a 14-12 loss to Holy Trinity Episcopal last week.

The Royals look to snap a four-game losing skid when they host Warner Christian on Friday night at 7.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the FOX Sports NEXT team July 2011.
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