If there is anything that the father (Dwight) of Derrick Williams knows, it's how to deal with the pressure of recruiting. Already well chronicled is the fact that Williams' brother (Domique) was touted pretty high himself, ultimately choosing North Carolina where he became an All-American.
It's not that attention that bugs the Williams. No, they are used to it by now. What's bothersome are some interpretations of conversations had with either Derrick or his father on favorites. "There aren't any favorites right now." Dwight Williams said. "I know that I said to one reporter that we have talked about such and such teams and next thing you know, there's a story out there saying that those teams are on our narrowed list."
"There isn't a narrowed list, because we haven't evaluated everyone as to how they meet the criteria we have as a family."
Part of that criteria is early playing time. Considering Williams' projected ability, that probably still leaves everyone in play. Academic standards and football tradition are also a factor as you might guess. The eldest Williams added some other key ingredients as well. "We want it to be a team where Derrick can be a real impact player." Dwight Williams said. "A team that can build around Derrick, but also a place where Derrick can grow physically and socially as well."
"If a school can show that it's a place where Derrick can keep the things we have taught him and grow as a person and player, that's the kind of place we want him to be. "
As stated above, the list is long in those recruiting him, but close to as long in those still be considered. Location, weather, major fan-following – while most of these are usually at the tops of the list for recruits, they are irrelevant to the Williams.
And even the recruiting of Williams by current commits to other teams isn't going to play any role as well.
Take Nebraska commit, Harrison Beck for example. Beck has contacted the Williams' family either by e-mail or phone. And, while Dwight said that they are grateful for the gesture, not even being recruited by a top 10 QB will make any difference in the end. "It's not about who else is there as far as players." Mr. Williams stated. "It's about Derrick and what he needs as far as a place where he can develop as a player and come out a better person to."
"We appreciate a lot what Harrison was trying to do, but it just doesn't have any effect on what we will decide as a family. Derrick is going for Derrick and not anyone else."
Considering the fact that the list is still almost infinite, the timeframe for a decision is indefiite to say the least. You can probably expect his decision to come late, late and even later in the process, because when you have almost everyone to choose from, that takes a whole lot of time.
No big thing for Dwight. He's been down this road before. "We understand the process." He said. "We're more interested in making the right decision than we are making a quick one. Whenever we see that there's a school that fits everything that fits what Derrick wants, that will be the place he goes."
Steve Ryan can be reached atSteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-730-5619