Sometimes having a five-star teammate is all a prospect needs to get noticed.
So was the case for Edna Karr DL Joyan Williams, who has the benefit of lining up next to Gerald Willis, one of the top 2014 recruits in Louisiana. With the LSU coaching staff well-versed in Willis' highlight tape, they started to notice another player was starting to stand out.
That player was Williams, who is now squarely on the Tigers' radar.
"They've been watching me a lot, because they've been recruiting Gerald pretty hard, so they've seen me," Williams said. "They said I have the same upside, the same ability. They like my size, speed and strength. They've talked to my coaches and they like the type of leader I am."
That was the message Williams received when he visited campus last weekend with two other Edna Karr teammates — LB Donnie Alexander (a LSU commit) and TE Anthony Jones. Williams had the opportunity to meet with his lead recruiter, Frank Wilson, and head coach Les Miles.
He also got an extensive tour of the academic side of LSU, something Williams said will be a major factor in his recruitment. Planning to major in management, Williams said LSU's new business complex stood out the most.
"It was a really good visit. It was really my first time getting to know LSU," Williams said. "It's a really good school. I overlooked it as far as how much they help with education. Football will take care of itself, but I went up there with a lot of questions about grades and classes. They really answered all my questions. I didn't think it was going to be like that…
"I already knew everything about the fan base and stuff. I wanted to know how they can help me outside of football. Make sure I'm making my grades, make sure that if I'm down, they can pick me up. Making sure they're taking care of me emotionally, and that I'm not just there to play football. I'm not picking a college for football, I'm picking a college that will better myself…I was amazed by [the business complex]. That blew my mind…That was a big-time plus."
Though the interest from LSU has picked up considerably in recent weeks, Williams said he's still waiting on an offer from the Tigers. But after his conversations with the coaches, he thinks that offer could come soon.
"They didn't offer me because the defensive line coach wasn't there," Williams said. "It was just Coach Frank and Les Miles, and I talked to them and Coach Frank said he didn't want to offer me by himself. But I think I might go back up there in a couple weeks and they'll for sure offer me."
It's been reported though that the coaches may want to see a bit more from Williams on the field during spring practice and possibly during summer camp.
"They told me they want me to get better at using my hands more," Williams said. "But that was basically it. They want me to pick my knees up when I run, because sometimes the quarterback got away from me."
The other school Williams said has been showing him the most interest is Oklahoma State, which he made a commitment to last week. Robert Allen, with Scout's Oklahoama State affiliate, GoPokes.com, said the coaches are still waiting on a couple more things before making his commitment public though.
But Williams said he's still high on the Cowboys, and considered them, along with LSU, Miami and Texas A&M, atop his list.
"I really love [Oklahoma State] because they've been in it for more than just football," Williams said. "They've gotten to know me and my background. They know the kind of person I am off the field. I love that it's in a small city. Being from New Orleans, a big city, I want to go to a place in a small town, with a big tradition…
"I'm still open for options."
Williams said he'll make trips to Stillwater, OK, on April 28 and June 8. He's already made trips to Miami and Texas A&M, and he said Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech (where his former coach Jabar Juluke is now an assistant) have invited him to campus as well.
Williams has played both DE and DT at Karr, and at 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, said he'd be a good fit at either position.
"I love getting after the quarterback and wreaking havoc in the backfield," Williams said. "But I'm fine with either position, as long as the coaches are coaching me up, we can make it work."
Williams said he currently has a 2.8 GPA and will take the ACT in two weeks.
Williams on LSU's radar
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