UNC Renews Williams's Spark

Nearly a month ago, Antonio Williams released his most recent favorite schools list with North Carolina barely hanging onto the final slot. Saturday’s visit, though, has shot the Tar Heels up that listing.

“They showed me a lot of love,” Williams said. “That visit is going to mean a lot to my process, because it is kind of coming to an end again and I think they showed me why I committed there before. I might not make it back before I decide, but they just renewed that spark.”

Williams, a 5-foot-11, 208-pound running back from New London (N.C.) North Stanly, originally verbally committed to UNC over a year ago, but de-committed in July. Since then, he has released multiple favorite schools list. The most recent of those lists was posted less than a month ago with an ordering of Wisconsin, Duke, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, and UNC.

Following Saturday’s visit, Williams says that UNC is now in the same stratosphere as Auburn and Wisconsin.

“This [visit] actually allowed me to learn some things that I didn’t quite know yet,” Williams said. “I didn’t know that the offensive line was as young as it is – and that’s a plus. With that being said, that takes away the fact that they’re not as successful this season but that’s understandable with the young offensive line. And then I realize that if I come into that situation at that time those guys would be more experienced and they’ll know what they’re supposed to do.

“That definitely moves them up knowing that if I come in, I’ll be coming into a good situation.”

The visit has had residual effects.

“I came back home and sat down and thought about a lot of things,” Williams said. “I don’t have a reason to not like North Carolina – that’s the thing. The more I think about things, the higher they rise in my mind.”

Williams has once again moved up his verbal commitment timeframe. His goal now is to announce his collegiate decision at a ceremony at his high school shortly after the season. If he’s unable to visit Wisconsin during the season, he’ll put those plans on hold.

“I want to see that place before I make my decision,” Williams said. “But I want to make a decision a little bit after the season.”

Whenever he makes a verbal commitment, Williams says the decision will be final – no more de-committing or visiting elsewhere.

“Last time [I committed], I said it was 100-percent but you also have to remember I was 15 years old,” Williams said. “This time, I’ll be 17 and I feel like I a little more mature and understand more of the affects of this decision on my life and the place I commit to.”

Williams is debating whether to release an updated favorites list prior to his announcement or just have six hats on the table.

The UNC coaching staff is completely aware of where the Tar Heels were listed on Williams’s most recent announced favorite schools list.

“They bring everything up,” Williams said with a laugh. “They bring up better facts. They’re trying to pull me in again and it’s working right now.”

Williams was the first recruit to meet with Larry Fedora on Saturday. The two spoke for 25 minutes before Williams made his way to running back coach Larry Porter’s office. After speaking with Porter for roughly 20 minutes, Chris Kapilovic, who is spearheading Williams’s recruitment, entered and the trio conversed for an additional 20 minutes. Following UNC’s thrilling 48-43 victory, Porter and Kapilovic searched out Williams and escorted him into the locker room.

“We just talked about everything,” Williams said. “We just talked about making this decision and how it’s not only going to affect my football career but my life.
“After the game, they talked to me about how well they ran the ball and how good the O-line looked.”

On the field, Williams was pleased with how UNC’s offense performed.

“I was impressed with the offensive line,” Williams said. “… I was impressed with Marquise [Williams] and [Ryan] Switzer and all those guys. Everybody played good on offense.”

Williams plans to remain home the next two weekends, but will travel to Auburn on Nov. 8 for its game against Texas A&M. He’s also working on a trip to Wisconsin, likely in November.

Antonio Williams

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