Not even a week ago, Derrick Williams was up to 36 offers. Now, he's up to 40. That's how it has been for this "star" from Eleanor Roosevelt high school. That's how it has been for quite some time now.
And, that's probably how it's going to be.
"It's been pretty much non-stop." Williams said of the attention. "Lot of calls, lots of visitors and lots of reporters and all that."
For anyone in his position, it's always good to have some sort of guidance throughout a process as possibly daunting and even frustrating as this. Derrick has that in his brother (Dominique) as though the sheer scope of the attention might not be as much, Dominique himself went though something fairly considerable as he was considered one of the top athletes in the country as well.
Dominique went on to become an All-American at the University of North Carolina and that begs the question of whether the younger brother will follow in his shoes. "I plan on going wherever the best fit for me is." Williams stated. "North Carolina is a great school, but I have a lot of choices in front of me, so I have to look around a lot right now."
Those choices are pretty much anyone and everyone you can imagine. With almost forty schools, it's the "who's who" and those that want to be that, of this collegiate level. Oh, and not all those offers are even from the top division in the game. "Bowie State offered me." Williams said of the Division II school. "The coach said he was just offering me out of respect."
Respect. That's something Williams has and then some. Forget about the impressive bloodlines, what this young man did last year says enough about the respect he's getting now and has earned. As a junior, Williams was a do-it-all player playing offense, defense, and special teams. He ran for 1363 yds on 163 carries for 22 TDs while passing for 558 yds all as a QB. Defensively he made three picks, and on returns, he returned two for TDs while averaging 40 yards per punt return.
Add to that the fact that Williams stands 6'1", weighs in right around 195lbs., runs a reported 4.4/40, benches 330, squats 360 and verts 34 inches into the sky, the question isn't about what he can't do, it's rather what he wants to do in college. "Wide reciever." Derrick said of his position of choice in the future. "I think that position really emphasizes a lot of the things I do well, plus I think that's where I could have the most success."
Williams also might be taking his cue from the colleges recruiting him as indeed most of his offers are for the wideout position. And, it's a position he feels very comfortable at as to what he brings to the table and who else he might compare himself to at least in style from football's premier league. "I'm a playmaker." Williams stated. "I can take a two yard pass and turn it into something at any point. As to who I compare myself to, I look at myself as a lot like Laveranues Coles because he's a quick guy that seems like he can take a short pass and make it into a long play whenever he touches the ball."
Coles might be an inspiration to Derrick in what he does on the field, but Williams know what receiver he definitely idolizes when it comes to his work off. "Jerry Rice's work ethic is something I really admire." he said. "He practices when nobody else wants to practice and he goes above and beyond. A lot of receivers say he's the guy they look up to because of that."
That's probably one of the few instances Williams is indeed looking up, because from his total number of reported offers, it looks like everyone else is looking up at him.
As to those offers, when you have so many, the choices so various in front of you, is there even a possibility of narrowing it down right now? Can someone who has everyone offering them even think of isolating even a top ten? Williams said that his list will not be narrowed by him so much as it will be narrowed by coaches from around the country, those developing the best relationship with him being those that will stay at or near the top. "That relationship really matters to me." Williams stated. "I want to develop this relationship, get to know the coaches really well and see who I get along with the best over time."
As long as the recruiting season may be to those that follow it, the time Williams has won't be significant in length as unlike most recruits around the country, Derrick isn't looking to step on campus to his school of choice in the late-Summer. Nope, Williams stated that wherever he goes, he's going to be a January arrival. "Everything I have done in school as far as Summer classes and all that are so I can do that." Derrick said. "I want to make my decision in December, so I can get on campus early that next year."
That means his visits will come early, but Williams stated that he is taking all of those. And, if you want to know about one of his main criteria other than the relationship with the coaches, if you have a lack in depth at wide receiver, considering yourself "in".
Other than that however, we'll find no narrowed list of schools as Williams says that his top ten isn't ten at all. "Everyone is in my top ten." he said. "There's a lot I want to learn about the schools, see how the relationships develop and look at my chance at playing early. I've got awhile to figure that out, so I'm not looking to narrow anything down right away."
Usually, within the frame of a piece on any recruit, I try to list at least a decent number of the main offers on the able. Well, that's "usually" how I do it. However, when you have forty offers on the table and May isn't even over, I figure I might not as well even bother.
Besides, at the rate Williams is going, forty will become fifty before we know it. Even in that area, Williams has a goal. "I'd like to end up with around seventy offers." he said.
Anyone want to bet against him?
I didn't think so.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619