Position – WR
Current Size and Speed – 6-3, 195-pounds
High School – Slidell High
City/State – Slidell, La.
Other major offers – Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi State, Southern Miss
Scout.com Position Ranking – No. 210 (**)
In the final month on the 2010 recruiting calendar, Slidell’s Armand Williams appeared on LSU fans’ radars. After lying outside the national spotlight through most of his high school playing days, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound wide receiver headed into the month of December as a pledge to Northern Illinois.
When Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino invited Williams to the Razorbacks campus a week before Christmas, the Louisiana native handed over a silent pledge in return. After going public with the decision in late-January, all signs pointed to Arkansas landing the Bayou State’s two-time high jump champion.
In the 11th hour, a combination of lost commitments and a new coach – with fresh eyes – brought Williams the LSU offer he had always hoped for. Days later, he signed with head coach Les Miles and the Tigers.
On the final week of his recruitment… “That last weekend was a crazy time. I had talked with [wide receivers] coach [Billy] Gonzales and he was a big, big fan of me. He said that he was doing what he needed to do, and sure enough I got offered on that last weekend’s visit. The decision from there was easy. LSU was always the school I had wanted to play at.”
After the first take… “Coach Gonzales said that once he signed his contract, my film was one of the first ones that he popped in. He couldn’t stop talking about how much he loved it. I knew [former wide receivers] coach [DJ] McCarthy liked me last summer when I came to camp, but he said that they had to put me on the side for a bit. When coach Gonzales came on, and then the class lost two receivers [Mike Davis, Justin Hunter], things fell into place for me.”
An ongoing relationship… “Coach Gonzales and I now talk every weekend. He has kept me in the loop with what is happening in Baton Rouge. I know that he didn’t have many receivers to work with in the spring, and he tells me often to come in, be relaxed and get ready to compete for a spot on the field. He said if I can repeat what I showed on film, then I will be set.”
Success in the classroom… “I finished up school two weeks ago and we graduate in a couple of days, so things are all set up for me. Coach Gonzales made sure to stay on me and make sure I got qualified without any problems.”
Success on the track… “I just won the state title in the high jump for the second straight year. I jumped 6’8” on my final jump, and the next jump was at 6’6”. It definitely felt great to win it twice in a row. All the hard work paid off in the end. Getting the back-to-back wins was the goal.”
Impressing the staff… “My leaping ability was probably one of the first things the LSU coaches liked about me. At summer camp I had a 43” vertical, and before that I had a 41” vertical jump at the Tulane camp. The thought of using me in the red zone for jump balls is something every staff talked about. We didn’t get to do it a lot because of our quarterback play, but I know coach Gonzales is excited about what he can do with me when we get down in that area.”
The Tiger workout plan… “That has me working hard, especially since I was fitting it in alongside my track work. I have been doing plenty of running. As the coaches were telling me, it’s all about getting my body ready for that next level. The first impression I make needs to be a lasting one.”
Off the field… “Between football and track, I really don’t have much down time. I enjoy being around friends and family, so that’s what I’m usually doing with my spare time. I don’t do too much of the video games or anything like that.”
On the player LSU is getting… “My coaches always tell me that I have a strong work ethic. It’s constant, and I strive for that. I am that guy who is always in the weight room. I am never sitting at home laying around and getting nothing done.”
Thoughts on the three other incoming receivers… “I know everyone can play, so the competition will be intense. I know that James Wright is an absolute stud. I have seen him play, and there’s no doubt he is a great receiver. I got to meet Kadron Boone on my visit, and I checked out his film when we were over in Baton Rouge. He’s an awesome athlete. [Jarrett] Fobbs is the only person I haven’t seen a lot from. I know he can play both sides of the ball, though. Things won’t be getting any easier for any of us.”