For those that follow recruiting on the east coast, the name Travis Williams rings a bell. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound outside linebacker suits up on Friday nights for Lake Taylor High in Norfolk, Va., where he used a big junior season to push his name to the top of the defensive prospect radar – where he earned 15-plus offers in the process.
A fan of Miami growing up, Williams pegged the Hurricanes as one of his leaders. He also likes the new-look Tennessee team, another tradition-rich program looking to regain their footing.
“Those two schools have some big talent and good coaches,” Williams said. “They are both on the rise. They have been down for a couple years, but both schools are about to be on top and the coaches have the players to make it happen.”
On the east coast, the nation’s No. 50 ranked outside linebacker favors a couple of schools – though he does not want to stay home to play ball.
“I am going to probably leave Virginia, because there is nothing really for me here,” Williams said. “I am feeling North Carolina and West Virginia, though. Those are two schools close to home that have really showed me some love. UNC, WVU, and Miami are the three schools that have probably recruited me the hardest.”
Over the summer, Williams decided to take camp visits that included Penn State and Maryland, and an unofficial visit to North Carolina and West Virginia.
As for official visits this fall, the three-star prospect said that he would choose wisely.
“I have seen some places already, and other schools that are close to home are easier for me to go check out because it won’t cost much on my own,” Williams said. “I have not set down to work it all out, but I have a good feeling as to which schools I want to be in the mix.
“I think LSU, Miami and Penn State will get visits. Tennessee, North Carolina and West Virginia are in there to, so I will see how it can all fit.”
A self-proclaimed “city boy,” Williams said that he has high hopes for Baton Rouge.
“I heard from coach McCarthy and other people that the city is real nice, and they said there is a whole lot to do outside of just football,” Williams said. “I checked out some schools and it was just too small or too country; I need a big place where I can fit in and meet new people.
“I know that LSU has the football tradition, and the defense is really what I love,” he added. “I have even made sure to catch some ESPN highlights, and I saw they are still undefeated. But I need to see if LSU could be a spot I can make it at and live for four years. After my official visit, I will know what’s up.”
Williams reported a 2.4 GPA and a 16 on the ACT. He said he plans on taking the SAT this fall.