When A.J. Williams arrived on campus over the weekend, it was like he and the rest of his class had been there for years already.
"Oh my goodness that was the funniest group of people I hung out with in my life (laughing uncontrollably)," said Williams. "Everybody there was hilarious, you would have thought we've been playing football together since we were seven. The way everybody bonded together, it was seriously so much fun. I've been playing Nintendo 64 since it first came out and I was having a blast just sitting there playing Nintendo 64 with Caleb Stacey, Taylor Lewan, Kevin Koger, Pat Omameh, everybody was just sitting in the house kicking it, it was so much fun."
In addition to a night filled with video games and laughs, Williams spent time with some of his future coaches talking at length about coming in and playing as a freshman.
"I talked to him (Coach Ferrigno) about coming in and getting ready to play as a freshman," said Williams. "With the Chris Barnett situation and Kevin Koger being a senior it just leaves open room for us kids to play early. It's just going to be a matter of how big we are coming in and how fast you can learn the playbook, the quicker you do those things the quicker you're on the field. I talked to Coach Al (Borges) about that too, so there's a lot of opportunity out there, I'm pretty pumped about it I'm not going to lie."
Also on the visit was another TE prospect in Lakewood St. Edward's Sam Grant and as it turns out, Williams and Grant are familiar foes.
"A lot of people don't know this but me and Sam used to play basketball against each other all the time," said Williams. "It was one of those things in AAU that you would play against each other so much that you kind of got to know each other. So it was like me and Sam already kind of knew each other and when coach told me he was going to be on the visit I kind of said you know I'm going to get in his ear about it. I was like ‘Sam you need to drop this BC and come up here (laughing)."
Williams and fellow TE commit Devin Funchess even felt comfortable enough with Grant to let him in on a little nickname they have for Coach Ferrigno.
"We always make fun of Coach Ferrigno, we call him papa Ferrigno," Williams said cracking up. "We say ‘look at our father over there, papa Ferrigno.' Why would you not want to be a part of this? Look at everybody in this room, it's a family here, this is where you want to be at."
With so many people, including his teammate Kyle Kalis, Grant was very receptive to what his potential teammates had to say to him.
"He was like ‘you know I wouldn't mind being a part of this family' and I was like good, look at it, we're a little awkward you know, me, Coach Ferrigno and Devin, we we're all just kind of coming together," said Williams.
Despite Williams being on the basketball floor for the next few months, he still has a clear view and plan for how he'll stay in the shape he needs to by the time he gets to Ann Arbor.
"I'm in the weight room at least three times a week just to make sure when I come out of basketball season I have fresh legs," said Williams. "I'm trying to maintain strength and build on that after the season and after the season I want to get back to running routes and making sure my body is in tip, top shape for when I go up there."
As for somehow summing up his experience at his future home, Williams couldn't hold back his excitement.
"It was just like, it lets you know how good of a next four or five years I'm going to have," said Williams. "It just let me know that there's not going to be any rough times, made me feel like everything is going to be perfect. It was a great little taste of what A-2 has to offer and we're all excited about it."
A.J. Williams goes way back with Grant
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