Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.) offensive tackle Jauan Williams certainly made the most of his Under Armour Elite 50 experience in Orlando, Fla., over New Year’s. The four-star junior said he’d never been around so many talented athletes all in one place, and the D.C. product thoroughly enjoyed competing with and meeting the other elite recruits.
“The experience was just great, just so much fun,” the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Williams said. “I met a lot of the players, and it really felt like a family being around all those great guys. They’re all really cool people. I really liked going against them and then watching the [Under Armour All-American] game with all the seniors. I was talking to Greg Little (Allen, Texas), Rashan Gary (Paramus Catholic/Paramus, N.J.), Rahshaun Smith (St. Frances/Baltimore, Md.), my teammate Big Richard (Richard Merritt), Shane Simmons (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) -- a lot of those people.
“We were talking about all the cool gear down there, and you know just talking about our different areas, the bowl games, and all that good stuff. We were in the player lounge watching the FSU-Oregon game and the Ohio State-Alabama game, and then we were playing some Xbox too. It was pretty cool.
“I saw Snoop Dog down there too, and that was probably the coolest thing. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll see the pictures of Snoop. He’s a real cool guy, and he’s pretty tall too -- like he’s 6-2, 6-3.”
The last recruit name Williams mentioned (not Snoop) should strike a chord with Maryland fans. The senior defensive tackle McLean -- an All-American who was injured and couldn’t participate, but still made the trip to Orlando to watch the game – took the opportunity to hype his hometown Terps. McLean, of course, committed to UMD back in December after backing out of his Penn State pledge.
“Adam McLean, that’s my man right there. I was talking to him a good bit,” Williams said. “He loves Maryland, and he said he wants me to come up there. He said it’s a good choice and a better choice for me to stay home and just represent the hometown. He was saying how it’s a great school and it’s a real family there. He said he was more comfortable at Maryland and they would give him a better opportunity than Penn State – stuff like that.”
Apparently Williams didn’t have much use for McLean’s recruiting pitch. The D.C. tackle already thought highly of the Terps and still has them under firm consideration.
“I mean, Maryland is my home team; they’re always going to be up there,” he said. “They did good this year for their first year in the Big Ten. I actually just heard Stefon [Diggs] isn’t going to be sticking around, which kind of stinks for them, but, you know, they’ve got talent there. Maryland’s a real good program; I've been there a bunch of times and I'm comfortable there.”
Williams was last at Maryland for its game against West Virginia this fall. He’s since maintained contact with area recruiter Mike Locksley via Twitter.
“I actually just saw Coach Locks at the airport down in Florida. His son, Kai, was in the Under Armour game, and I ran into Coach Locks and said, ‘Hey,’” Williams said. “But me and Coach Locks, we’re cool. We talk on Twitter and stuff and he’s someone I trust and like a lot. He’s been telling all us [recruits] to stay home, come to Maryland and build Maryland into a power.
“And, you know, that would be good for Maryland. You know, give them that local look like some other programs have like Texas, Florida State. So we’ll see.”
Back during the fall, Williams said OSU, PSU and UMD were sticking out among his 35-plus offers. But he’s since backed off that statement a bit, insisting he really doesn’t have a clearly defined “leaderboard.” Basically, Williams said there’s some programs that have caught his eye early on, but there’s a ways to go in his recruitment.
“I really haven’t made any type of list yet,” Williams said. “You’re not going to see me come out with a top five, top 10 for awhile yet. All the schools recruiting me are on the same level. You know, Penn State, Ohio State, Maryland, all these schools that are talking to me, I’m looking into them all. They’re all great opportunities.”
That said, Williams did perk up when the Buckeyes were mentioned. He was on hand for the OSU-Michigan game in November and came away highly impressed with Columbus, Ohio. Williams has two family members that attend Ohio State, and he said his mother likes the school as well.
“Right now I would say Ohio State is standing out, just from what they’ve done this year,” Williams said. “I liked the game I saw up there, and I have family there, but I really like what [the Buckeyes] did this year. They’re in the [championship] game against Oregon, and I have faith Ohio State is going to win that game. So, you know, a lot of people doubted Ohio State and doubted them against Alabama, and they keep proving people wrong.
“But, like I said, all these schools are pretty even for me. Ohio State is standing out right now because of where they are.”
Williams had been riding high on Penn State for quite some time, and he said the Nittany Lions are still firmly on the brain. He mentioned how the DeMatha defensive end Simmons, a firm PSU pledge, was talking up Happy Valley while in Florida.
“With Shane, he was saying to a lot of guys how they need to come to Penn State,” Williams said. “And, you know, I’m familiar with the coaches at Penn Sate, the fans are on me on Twitter, they treat me nice up there like one of their players, and I feel like I can make an impact as a true freshman. So Penn State stands out some too.”
The Carroll product has seen the aforementioned three schools before, and this offseason he plans to trek to a number of his other suitors. He said Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn are on his radar. Williams also said he’d probably get back over to College Park, Md., since it’s so close.
He does not plan on making any kind of college decision until next winter.
“When is Signing Day? February 4? I’m thinking of picking my school on Feb. 4, 2016,” Williams said. “But, you know, I was watching some of the other guys commit on TV at the Under Armour game and that looked fun. Should I commit on TV; what do you think (laughs)?
“But I’ll probably do like a top 10 at the end of my senior season, then do a top five a little later, and then commit on Signing Day. No rush.”
Williams Enjoying The Process
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