Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario) tight end Blake Williams saw Maryland for the first time Sept. 24, and one week later he took yet another eight-hour drive down to College Park, Md. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Oklahoma native wanted to check out the stadium atmosphere and meet more of the staff, so he headed back to UMD for its Big Ten opener against Purdue Oct. 1.
“Like I said before [after visiting Sept. 24], Maryland is still the team to beat. It was a really good visit for the game,” said Williams, who remains sidelined with a knee injury that’s precluded him from playing this season. “It was homecoming, and even with the weather, the setting was still cool. It was really something to see. I really enjoyed myself.”
During his initial Maryland foray, Williams mainly interacted with offensive coordinator Walt Bell, strength coach Rick Court and a couple trainers. This time around, though, he had the opportunity to talk to head coach D.J. Durkin, tight ends coach Pete Lembo, receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and Bell.
“The coaches put me on a pedestal it seemed like. Every coach I hadn’t met before wanted to come up and talk to me,” Williams said. “I had a chance to talk to Coach Durkin for five minutes or so, and he’s a great guy. He said they want me a whole lot, the offense would compliment me and I’d be a perfect fit there. I didn’t talk to him for a long time because of the game, but it was a great conversation.
“Then Coach Lembo was a great, great guy and was very kind and sympathetic. I like him a lot. And Coach Bell, I’ve been talking to him for awhile now, and I always enjoy talking to him. He really wants me to be part of the program.
“So I was just glad to meet the whole staff and see what they’re all about. They’re different in person than over the phone – just very welcoming and personable.”
Naturally, the game itself resonated with Williams as well. He was able to see the Terps romp over Purdue in a 50-7 affair.
“It was terrific,” Williams said. “4-0, that sounds pretty nice, and I loved experiencing that. It was a great atmosphere at the stadium and the team played great. I know they’re going to Penn State next, and I’m hoping they do to Penn State what they did to Purdue. I’m looking forward to watching that.”
Williams went on to compliment Bell’s offense. He noted how the Terps featured the run during the blowout, but he still liked how Bell used the tight ends.
“The offense was great. They move the tight ends a lot from H-back to in-line to slot, so that was pretty cool,” Williams said. “I feel like I’d fit in really well there. It’s a great spread system.”
Additionally, Williams had a chance to see more of the campus, although he said the weather cut the tour short.
But that hardly put a damper on his latest stay in College Park.
“Mainly I wanted to experience the game atmosphere and talk to the coaches, and I did that. It was great,” Williams said. “Now I want to get down there for an official sometime. I don’t have a date yet, though, because I have to look at the rest of my schedule and see what my parents schedule is like.”
The tight end said he’s thinking a bit about seeing Rutgers, but once again noted that “Maryland is up top.”
So, could a commitment be coming when he makes it back to College Park?
“Honestly, it could be anytime,” Williams said. “It’s how I feel in the moment. When I feel the time is right, I’ll [commit].”