It's Official, Willie Williams to Pearl River

It's official. Former UM linebacker Willie Williams is headed to Pearl River Community College in Mississippi according to Pearl River coach Tim Hatten.

"Willie is coming in tomorrow night and depending on what time he gets here, he will practice with us," Hatten said.

Pearl River, the 2004 NJCAA national champions, has practice Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.

Willie Williams will be an outside linebacker for Coach Hatten, who owns a 37-5 record.

"I think he will be good player in our league," Hatten said. "How good is he going to be is hard to say. But to go to an ACC school means he is a good player especially at Miami--they don't miss on too many guys. And Willie is not a miss in terms of athletic ability."

Williams got set up with Pearl River through people and Willie's step dad, Leonard Pressley, was in touch with Coach Hatten, who coached nine years at Haines City High School in Florida.

"We got him in for a visit last week and it went real good visit," Hatten said. "We took a real good luck at his academics and felt good about him as a person. We felt good about the situation, it went really well."

Williams was the nation's top recruited linebacker in 2004 out of Carol City High School in Miami.

"We are excited to have someone that can move as well as he can," said Hatten, who also added Carlton Hill--a former UM recruit--two days ago. "Willie combines a rare breed of size and speed."

Coach Hatten is excited to add Williams to the roster, not only because of his football ability, but for Willie as a person.

"I think there is a big misconception with Willie that people hear," Hatten said. "As a coach you get a different perspective and we get a different connection on a different security level if you do enough research."

Hatten estimates he has 15-18 Division I prospects in the sophomore class and about that many freshmen as well.

Pearl River's first game is Aug. 31.

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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