JC Tackle Matt Williams Considering Illini

The Fighting Illini football team will be graduating two of its starting offensive linemen, and it is looking for some immediate help. Matt Williams, a junior college tackle from North Dakota State College of Science, made his official visit to the Illini campus over the weekend. He is planning to enroll somewhere for the second semester.

Matt  Williams has been on an interesting life adventure. The native of England came to the United States for one sport but is now being recruited for another.

"I came over to play basketball. After I played basketball awhile I decided to try something new. So I tried football, and I'm playing offensive line. This is my fifth year in the country. I've been playing football three full years now."

Two of those three years have been at North Dakota State College of Science, where he distinguished himself as a major college prospect. He visited the Illinois campus over the weekend, one of four schools he is considering for second semester enrollment.

"I've already taken official visits to Cal and Michigan State, and I've got Florida State two weeks from now before I'll decide."

The 6'-6", 290 pounder appeared to enjoy himself.

"My official visit was good. I had a lot of fun. I hung out with Graham Pocic a lot of the time. I also spent time with Coach (Ron) Zook and Coach (Joe) Gilbert, the offensive line coach. All the coaches are great. I met Coach (Paul) Petrino, and he's a great guy.

"I spent a lot of time with the players before the game. It was a really good trip. It was a good experience to see what game day is like."

He witnessed an unexpected loss to Minnesota, but he spoke favorably of future success.

"It was a frustrating loss, but maybe they'll be ready to do well next week at Wrigley Field."

Because of the way the Illini position their linemen, Williams wasn't certain what position he would play for the Illini.

"They play strongside and weakside tackles, so I'll just see where I end up. Normally I'm a right tackle, but we'll just have to see. I'll play wherever on the offensive line they need me."

He describes his abilities.

"My pass pro is my best asset, I've got quick feet. I'm able to get in front of guys and keep them in front of me. I want to work on my hand placement, stuff like that. I want to work on all my techniques. I'm just trying to be sure I'm as good as I can be."

Williams isn't ready to make his college decision.

"I don't have any favorites. I'm still taking visits. It's a tough process. After this weekend I'm gonna sit down with my offensive line coach and see what I'm thinking about. He will help me decide. And then after my Florida State visit, I'll sit down and decide. I have to make my decision in December."

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