When Davion Williams ended his sophomore year of high school, he considered himself to be a basketball player exclusively.
But after playing football for the first time in his junior season, Williams can no longer be considered a one-sport star at Belleville high school as he is now one of the most coveted defensive backs that the state of Michigan has to offer and recently earned a scholarship offer from the Spartans.
Williams said that he was excited to land the offer from Michigan State and said that he grew up a fan of the Spartans and has taken both basketball and football visits to East Lansing. Spartan Nation caught up with him to talk.
“I grew up a Spartan fan, that was my mom and my dad’s favorite (school),” he said. “Even though they didn’t go to college, they always liked Michigan State. When I took my dad on a visit to Michigan State for basketball, he just fell in love with it more.”
A 3-star cornerback, Williams’ size would make him a prototypical fit in the Michigan State defense and said he has been in touch with defensive coordinator Harlan Barnett and wide receivers coach Terrance Samuel.
Williams noted that he has developed a strong relationship with Barnett, who is a former defensive back himself, and added he has a similar coaching style to his head coach at Belleville, Jermain Crowell.
“I think he’s a great guy,” he said. “I went up there at the beginning of last year before the football season started and I watched them do some DB drills and it was just like coach Crowell does his. He teaches the DBs to do stuff and all technique stuff.”
Along with his offer from Michigan State, Williams also holds offers from several other Division 1 schools, including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, UCLA and Iowa State, among others.
Williams said that he has heard from Illinois, Indiana and Iowa recently and is excited about his offer from the Hawkeyes, who have a track record of sending defensive backs to the professional ranks, most recently, Desmond King, who played his high school ball at Detroit East English Village Prep.
“I like the Hawkeyes because I heard coach … Phil Parker… he recruits a lot of DB’s and making it to the pros and that’s what I want to do,” he said. “I want to try and turn pro and Desmond King just brings a lot of motivation.”
While he is also a highly-touted basketball prospect, Williams said that he plans on playing just one sport at the college level so he can focus all of his attention on one sport, but did note that the possibility of playing multiple sports in college when talking with schools, specifically Toledo.
“For me, if I play a sport, I’ve got to go 100 percent on it, I don’t want to go 50 on it, I don’t want to go 75 on it,” he said. “I just want to take that role of taking basketball to the fullest, because I feel like basketball has led me to where I am now and being a good player.”
While he is entering just his second year of high school football, Williams has caught the attention of college coaches considering how quickly he’s developed on the football field.
“They say I’m a freakish athlete,” he said. “They say I’m developing super-fast and they never saw that from a one-year player.”
Williams said he’d like to make his commitment at some point in August, before the start of the high school football season and may consider enrolling in school early.
The Spartans also have their eyes on a pair of Williams’ teammates, one on the basketball court, Gabe Brown, and one on the football field, Devontae Dobbs.
Williams had high praise for both of his teammates, and said that Dobbs, a 6-foot-5, 270 pound offensive lineman who is rated as a 4-star prospect by Scout, is a player who
“I love him too man and my family loves him too, he’s just a big, goofy, nice kid” he said. “I don’t think there’s anybody in the country that can stand in front of him and mess with him on the football field. He’s just amazing, he works hard and he’s just naturally big and naturally strong and he’s still finishing up with his body, but when he gets his body up like he’s doing now – and you can see it now with the camps that he’s going to and he’s starting to lift a lot – you can tell the difference. I don’t think anybody can stop him. I think next year, if he wanted to, he could go to college and play already.”
Williams noted his strong relationship with Brown and said he’s constantly impressed with his work ethic when it comes to basketball.
“That’s my brother, that’s my blood brother, I love him to death,” he said. “He just works so hard, I don’t think coaches get just how hard he works, he works so hard because of what he’s been through. He lives in the gym, you couldn’t catch this guy after school out of the gym.”
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