Make no mistake A.J. Williams knows Mark Dantonio loves to use the tight end. Williams, of Cincinnati (Ohio) Sycamore High School, knows some programs may look at him as a future offensive lineman; however, the Spartans love what he brings to the field as a future college tight end.
"That means a lot to me," Williams said about the Spartans use of the tight end. "Some schools are recruiting me for whatever I grow in to. West Virginia is recruiting me as an offensive lineman; Michigan State is recruiting me as a tight end. I prefer to play tight end because I love to catch the ball, however, I also like to pancake and block as much as I can."
At 6-foot-5, 275-pounds, Williams still has the flexibility and ability to stretch the field at his size. Because of these qualities, several programs have joined the Spartans in offering including Big Ten rivals Illinois and Michigan.
Nevertheless, could a small connection between the Williams family and one of the Spartans coaches help during the next few months?
"It's so funny. Coach Barnett lived in the community of Woodlawn where I original grew up in. So he kind of knew my dad a little big. Now I laugh knowing that a guy who knew me for a little bit has offered me a scholarship a couple of years later."
The recent success of a former Spartan and recent signing of another native of Cincinnati has also opened up Williams eyes.
"Seeing what Greg Jones did at Michigan State definitely opens up your eyes. I also heard about Donavon Clark signing with Michigan State. It is nice to see they are recruiting Cincinnati and you know you can go to Michigan State from Cincinnati and have a good stint there."
What is Williams looking for in a school?
"I'm looking for a quality education, playing time; distance from home is not a big deal for me, but more for my mom so she can see my play in college. As for looking at a certain conference, I am not really looking too hard at any said conference."
What has impressed Williams about Michigan State so far?
"Michigan State is a great school and they play in a great conference with a great head coach. So I have a lot to interest in Michigan State."
As for a timeline to a college commitment?
"I would like to make a commitment before all the scholarships are taken. However, I might wait until after my football season to see what happens with my recruiting."
While the Spartans may have to wait for Williams to make his college choice, many feel he is worth the wait as he is a big-body tight end with an above average skill set.
Spartan Digest will continue to check back with A.J. in the coming weeks to see where the Spartans stand.