“High under consideration,” according to Williams, means UNC is among his top three schools. Though, he doesn’t have an actual favorite schools list.
Williams, a 5-foot-11, 208-pounder from New London (N.C.) North Stanly, originally verbally committed to UNC last September. And then last Saturday, he made a surprising u-turn by de-committing via a statement on Twitter.
“It was mostly the fact that I do want to look around a little bit more,” Williams said. “But another thing, with the style of running that I do, I don’t know how I fit into that spread. We run a more traditional offense down here – downhill. At Carolina, everybody knows it’s not really a downhill offense. That’s something I do want to make sure if I do go to UNC that I can easily adjust into that.”
Williams is well aware that Elijah Hood is a “downhill running back.” Thus, Williams will be paying extra attention to Hood’s freshman season this fall.
“I want to see how [Hood’s] going to be used in that offense,” Williams said. “I want to see if he flourishes or not in there, because him and I do run the ball very similarly.”
Though he doesn’t have a firm list of favorite schools, some of the schools Williams wants to take a hard look at include Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. That list will likely dramatically expand with the addition interest he’s receiving.
“Everything blew up once again,” Williams said. “And it blew up very fast. I didn’t expect it to blow up as fast as it did. The next day I was getting calls from schools that I hadn’t heard from. I talked to Miami, Baylor, Florida State, Virginia Tech. I expected it to happen eventually, but I didn’t expect it to happen as quickly as it did.”
In addition to the contact from colleges, Williams has paid attention to fan reaction since he is very active on social media.
“First off, I’d just like to say that I love everything about Tar Heel Nation,” Williams said. “It’s one of the best fan bases in the country. Everything I did, they supported me. And even after the de-commitment, I had a lot of support. You’re always going to have a couple of those fans that disagree with what you did, but overall it was amazing supported they were even after my decision [to de-commit].”
Before releasing his statement, Williams spoke to Chris Kapilovic. Kapilovic has been handling Williams’ recruitment and the two have a very strong relationship.
“It was kind of hard, I’m not going to lie,” Williams said. “But the main thing he just wanted to know why. I told him the reason and everything, and he said he understood but he wished I would have told him a little bit earlier. But I couldn’t really control when it happened. It just happened when it happened.”
Williams had been considering de-committing for roughly two weeks. But he was able to make it appear to the outside world that he was as firm as any pledge.
“That’s the thing that I’m really good at – I’m not going to show anything to anyone outside of my family,” Williams said. “When I did commit, no one knew it was coming. And I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t really talk to anybody when I de-committed, other than my family and we kept that in.”
Keeping the group of people Williams trusts small is by design.
“I didn’t want to allow people to think that I didn’t like UNC,” Williams said. “I wanted to handle it the correct way because I’m not a bad guy. I’m just a kid and I just want to see everything else.”
Williams’s first visit to another school occurred last week when he traveled to Florida. The UNC staff was fully aware of the trip. However, visiting another school as a commitment wasn’t a feeling that Williams liked.
“I had been thinking about it and I took that visit and felt it was nice down there [at Florida],” Williams said. “I thought, ‘As a player and maybe as a future Tar Heel, let me make sure that that’s where I want to be by seeing everywhere else.’ I just felt it was better and easier to do that without being committed.”
This week, Williams will visit Auburn.
Though he doesn’t have anything scheduled, Williams expects to return to UNC for one of the Tar Heels’ first games of the 2014 season.
Williams’ plan now is to make a verbal commitment at an all-star game during his senior year – at the Shrine Bowl or an All-American game depending on which games he’s selected for.
Sometime before that point, Williams will announce a favorite schools list.
“I will say that UNC will definitely be on [the list],” Williams said.