Target 2004: Juan Williams

Garner offensive tackle Juan Williams is contacted nearly every day by a representative from the University of Connecticut. He is also actively lured by Wake Forest and East Carolina coaches on practically a daily basis.

But Williams, a two-year starter for the Trojans, wants to be a Tar Heel. Yet, just how interested assistant coach Kenny Browning and the UNC coaching staff are in Williams remains to be seen.

"When I visited camp at UNC last summer, Coach [John] Bunting came over and told me he really liked my style and technique, and that I was very aggressive," Williams said. "The coaches were right there. They showed us what we needed to work on.

"It's a fun atmosphere there."

On Monday, Williams told IC his top choices in order are UNC, N.C. State, Connecticut, Duke, ECU and Wake.

Still, he said he didn't know for sure when, or if, Carolina would be back in touch.

While 365 pounds is an excellent bench press accomplishment at the prep level, Trojans head coach Nelson Smith believes Williams needs to work hard on improving strength during his upcoming senior campaign.

"He needs to work on his speed too," Smith said. "But he's got good technique now."

Williams anchors Garner's ground game attack, which helped the Trojans to a 9-2 2002 finish in the tough 4-A Triangle Alliance Conference.

"Here at Garner we flip-flop our offensive linemen on a quick side and a strong side," Smith said. "And in our running game, we basically do a lot of strong side running, and Juan Williams is our strong side tackle. We've leaned on him a lot in our offense.

"He's just done an outstanding job for us – both run-blocking and pass-blocking."

This fall and for the first time in his high school career, Williams will play defensive tackle as well. He projects at each offensive line position, but he hopes to play guard or center in college.

"It doesn't matter to me where I play," Williams said. "Wherever they need me."

Currently, Williams is competing in track at Garner.

"He's throwing the shot put over 50 feet right now, " Smith said. "He's got the tools -- good speed and quickness and he's a hard worker."

Smith also said while Williams will definitely need to work hard in the classroom from here until next year's graduation, he doesn't expect Williams to have any problem with qualifying academically at the school of his choosing.

Juan Williams
Height: 6-3
Weight: 290
40-Time: 5.1
Bench: 365
Squat: 485

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