Carl Williams, a safety/cornerback from Jacksonville, Florida's First Coast High School, is a player the Illinois coaches have been after for a while. His blend of strength and speed make him a playmaker on the field. He made an early commitment to Illinois, dependent upon a successful visit to the school. Did his visit this past weekend show what he needed to see?
"It was definitely what I expected."
Williams described his visit.
"It was really nice, it was a great experience. Ryan Lankford was my host. He showed me around. It was fun to get a tour of campus and the locker room and all that. It's a nice place."
He likes the calm atmosphere of the UI campus.
"I like the campus atmosphere. It's a great atmosphere and a great campus and not a lot of trouble. It's peaceful."
Illinois suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Gophers Saturday, but Williams enjoyed the game.
"They should have beaten Minnesota. There were a few defensive mistakes, but they played a good game."
Williams used an analytical approach when choosing the Illini without having seen the campus. His original decision came down to a choice between Illinois, Connecticut, Arkansas, South Florida, UCLA, and Texas Tech.
"I was looking at it with my dad and going over my list. We looked at the depth chart, compared the coaching staffs and early playing time. It looked like the best place to go."
Since that time, Miami has become involved as well. The Hurricanes haven't offered yet, but they could be a factor if they do. Williams was scheduled for a visit to Miami, but that has been delayed.
"I didn't end up making it to Miami. I had to cancel. I'm all Illinois, but my dad wants me to keep my option open to Miami."
Williams cited coach Dan Disch as a reason he chose the Illini.
"Coach Disch came down to Jacksonville, and I got to talk to him face to face."
Unless Miami makes his him reconsider his decision, he doesn't plan to take any more visits.
"I'm just going to take recruiting easy now. We lost first round of the playoffs so we're done."