IU Target Williams Performs On and Off Field

With his recent offer from Indiana, Cincinnati Winton Woods athlete Chris Williams now has six scholarships. But he had to do some work off the field to give himself a chance to play football in college...

Winton Woods (Ohio) H.S. athlete Chris Williams has an abundance of college options.

The 6-0, 190-pound safety/wide receiver from Cincinnati has scholarship offers from Indiana, Minnesota, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Kent State and Ohio University. He's also hearing from Michigan State, Illinois, Maryland and Wake Forest.

"It's exciting (to have so many options), but there are so many, it's going to be tough to decide which one to choose," Williams said.

While it might not be an easy decision, picking from scholarship opportunities from the Big Ten, Big East and ACC, among others is a good problem to have. It's also a decision that Williams didn't always think he'd be able to make.

It didn't have anything to do with how Williams was performing on the football field, but off of it. He admits that he let his academics slide during his sophomore season to the point that he didn't think college was going to be in his future.

"The path I was on as far as grades it wasn't looking like I was going to college," Williams said.

But that changed after a sit down meeting with his high school basketball coach more than a year ago. As his sophomore year was wrapping up, Williams' coach impressed upon him the opportunities he might have if he got things straightened out in the classroom. Williams took the message to heart and had a 3.5 during his junior year of high school.

"I realized I could go to college for free and play football and do what I want to do," Williams said.

With his academics shored up, Williams can now turn his attention to weeding through his various college options. A versatile player who's played wide receiver, middle linebacker and safety on his high school team, Williams is being recruited by just about everyone to play in the secondary.

"(College coaches) say I have a nose for the ball, that I'm always around the ball," Williams said. "I think I'd be one of the more physical safeties because I was going up against guys 6-5, 300-some pounds (as a middle linebacker). I've played up against these guys heads up, so it shouldn't be that much harder in the secondary where guys are 175 pounds."

Those are the kind of attributes that have caught the attention of the IU staff, which offered Williams a scholarship less than two weeks ago. Williams admits he doesn't know a great deal about the Hoosier program yet, but he'll like find out a great deal soon. One of his high school coaches, Mike Middleton, was a cornerback for the Hoosiers from 1989-92.

While Middleton can help out with some information about the IU program, Williams know that the decision will ultimately be his to make.

"I talk to my parents about it, but they don't want to influence my decision," Williams said. "Most of my coaches don't want to influence my decision. They say wherever you go, work hard. They say no matter where you go you're going to have to work hard to play. You're not going to go in and be given anything. So go where fits you best."

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