Antonio Williams was in the waiting stage.
Having formed a strong bond with Michigan linebacker’s coach Roy Manning in recent years and proving his own worth compiling 2,401-yards on 239 carries to go with 22 rushing touchdowns as just a sophomore, the Wolverines were ready to give the New London (N.C.) North Stanly four-star running back some big and long awaited news Thursday.
“Coach Manning texted my coach and told me to call him immediately,” Williams said. “I called him and he said what’s up I’ve got somebody that wants to talk to you.
“He told me for a while that I was one of the top guys in the class and so I talked to the offensive coordinator and he told me they were really impressed with what I did on film and how I was on the film and everything. And they told me they wanted to extend an offer.”
“I’m just blessed to get that offer from a university with such rich history like Michigan,” Williams added. “And then he gave the phone back to Coach Manning and everything and I talked to Coach Jackson and he told me he was very impressed and I got his phone number and we’re going to get a better relationship between me and Coach Jackson.”
First year offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has made the running game a major priority since arriving in Ann Arbor in January, specifically rushing yards between the tackles.
This approach and emphasis stands out to the well-sized Williams.
“He talks to me about that all the time,” Williams said. “I’m 5-foot-11, 210-pounds and I’m not one of those little, small speed guys; that’s not my style.
“I’m more of a power guy and I think I would fit into that offense coming in with what they’ve got.”
Williams, who also had 210-yards receiving and two receiving touchdowns, feels very comfortable with his main recruiter for the Wolverines.
“I’ve been talking to Coach Manning since freshman year,” Williams said. “Our relationship is just great. We’re so close that it’s crazy and I couldn’t think of a better relationship that I have with a coach other than Coach Manning.”
Looking at Michigan, success in recent seasons hasn’t been what the Wolverines were used to in the roughly 30 years previous, but Williams believes that’s all about to change in Ann Arbor.
“Just the fact that they’ve been so good in the past and I feel that’s coming back up,” Williams said. “Wherever I do go I want to be in a program that’s winning and I want to be in a program that’s going to be successful after I leave cause I don’t want to look back and be like, well I went there and they’re sucking afterward.
“I’d rather go to a place where they’re going to be good when I’m there and good when I leave. Plus, I’m looking at what running back coach is going to maximize my potential.”
With high school training camp quickly approaching, Williams says there won’t be enough time to get out for more visits this summer.
Looking to the fall though, trips to see some college football games will definitely be in the cards, including a possible venture to Michigan.
“I’m definitely going to try to,” Williams said. “I’ve been trying for a while now. Things don’t go as you plan all the time but I’ve been trying and when I get up there I’ll get up there but I’ll definitely be up there sometime.”