On Friday I spoke with Coach Kevin Wilson of Richlands High School about Mario Williams. Coach Wilson discussed Mario's strengths as a player and a student. First, a little insight on Mario Williams is in order. Mario is 6-6 and weighs 250 lbs. He runs a 4.57 40-yd dash. He committed to NCSU during his junior year.
Mario's strengths as a player are his size and maturity on the field. "One of the problems with kids his age that have long arms and legs is how hard it is to put weight on him. I've had success every year of putting some weight on him and he's listened and is very coachable so I've been able to make him more athletic to develop his strength, his speed, and his power. He's worked pretty hard and I've worked pretty hard making sure he's up to date on everything so that he would be able to compete in a Division I college atmosphere," Coach Wilson stated.
Although Mario has verbally committed to North Carolina State, he is still entertaining an offer from latecomer Tennessee, and there is a good chance he could change his mind and bolt to the Vols. "Tennessee has a very good shot at Mario", Wilson said, "but NC State is the #1 choice, with North Carolina as his #3." Due to the impending pressure of his junior season, Mario verballed to NC State early so he could focus all his energy on football and academics. Doc Holliday is the NC State coach who is recruiting Williams.
Mario played his junior season out of position as a middle linebacker due to several injuries to his teammates. Playing out of position hindered his stats last year. He did average 10 tackles per game, but fewer were for losses because of playing 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He still averaged 1 sack per game as a middle linebacker. "There were a lot of games he didn't play the fourth quarter because we were 11-2 , and probably five of those games it was over at halftime," said Wilson.
Mario is a solid B student. He scored over a 1000 on his PSAT, which is a good indicator of what he'll score on the SAT. "We have it set up where, if he needs to, he'll be able to graduate in December 2002. If he wanted to leave and enroll in college in January, he'll have that option", Wilson said. Mario has taken a SAT prep class, and is currently taking chemistry so he won't have to worry about taking it in his senior season. The only major course he needs for his senior year is Senior English. Mario is in the top 25% of his class.
Mario spent today in Columbia, SC, doing a photo op with national recruiting expert Tom Lemming. The top 15 players from South Carolina and the top 3 players from southeastern North Carolina were invited. The invited players all have a chance to make All American. He'll be appearing with the others on the cover of Lemming's National Prep Report magazine.
Vols make Strong Push for Mario
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