Dwayne Dixon, NC State's new wide receivers coach who replaced Doc Holliday this spring, came to NC State with a reputation as being one of the top assistants in college football.
A finalist for the 2001 Broyles Award, which is given annually to the nation's top assistant coach, Dixon participated in 18 bowl games as a player and coach at the University of Florida. He was on the coaching staff of six SEC title teams (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000) and coached in two national championship games: the 1995 Fiesta Bowl versus Nebraska and the 1996 Sugar Bowl versus Florida State.
He coached 11 All-Americans and 10 first-team All-SEC selections and Florida ranked in the top 10 teams nationally in passing offense 10 of his 15 seasons with the program.
Williams was eager to find out about Dixon's reputation while in Raleigh.
"Yea, that was the first thing I asked him was what all he did at Florida," Williams said. "He told me about it and said there's even more about who all he's coached on the internet, so I've had a chance to see what he's done."
At the Scout.com combine, Williams posted a 41-inch vertical jump, the combine's top mark, but his 4.8-second 40-yard time left him with a bitter taste in his mouth.
"Well, I didn't run what I wanted to run at the combine, and I think all the times were slow so I talked to coach Dixon about it," Williams said. "He told me that stuff doesn't matter as long as you can play. He said that at Florida he had a wide receiver who ran a five-second 40 and he led the SEC in receiving because he was a real good football player."
Williams rebounded to run a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the Shrine Bowl combine held in Snow Hill, North Carolina. His size and athleticism makes him a definite top-five player in the state and has led to scholarship offers from NC State, UNC, Virginia, East Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Maryland.
Because of his versatility, Williams isn't sure what position he will play on the next level.
"I think it's up in the air about what position I'll play," he said. "Some of the schools like me at safety and some want me at wide receiver. I think a couple of them want me to play both, so I guess I'm being recruited as an athlete."
While hesitant to name a favorite, Williams did admit that three ACC programs are in great shape.
"State, UNC, and Virginia are up there right now," Williams said. "I'd say early playing time and how I feel fitting in with a school will be the important things to me."
What does he like about those three schools?
"With State, that was my first football game I ever went to, and it was real exciting with the fireworks and stuff," Williams said. "They attract the best athletes. Toney Baker's going there and then guys like T.A. McLendon. My brother loves to watch T.A. McLendon so I took him to a game, and he liked that a lot. It's just magical around there.
"UNC, the atmosphere they have is real nice, and they have great facilities.
"Virginia is in such a pretty town, and I like how it's set up over there."
Southwest Onslow standout Kendrick Burney and Williams are close friends, and Burney already has offers from UNC, Duke and Wake Forest. Rumors persist that they could be a package deal.
"That's in the equation to, but we really don't know right now," Williams said.
Look for Williams to decide later in the year after he takes some official visits.
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