2011 Intro: Marquise Williams

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Make no mistake about it, Marquise Williams is a collegiate quarterback.

"I don't see why not," Mallard Creek head football coach Mike Palmieri said. "He's done well here. He's put up the numbers. He's getting better every year. Every [coach] I've seen, they're not recruiting him as an athlete – they're recruiting him as a quarterback."

Given his size (6-foot-4 and 215 pounds) and athletic ability, many assume Williams will be labeled an "athlete" by recruiters. But that's not the case.

"Everybody that has watched my film says ‘You can play that position,'" Williams said. "That's what I've been playing my whole life."

Nearly 20 schools have extended Williams a scholarship offer including every coach that visited Mallard Creek during January and December.

"He's been offered by [schools] from Virginia Tech to Michigan to West Virginia, Florida, Miami," Palmieri said. "Everybody that has seen him has offered him.

"Coaches tell me it's his potential. His upside as far as what he does running and throwing, his size and his strength, and he has great speed for someone that big."

Last season in Mallard Creek's spread offense, Williams accounted for 40 touchdowns, while accumulating roughly 2,000 passing and 1,500 rushing yards.

"We ask him to run the ball when he needs to inside [and] outside," Palmieri said. "We run option, we run veer, [and] we run midline. [Williams] is a big part of the offense. He has to check to certain things."

Williams has been putting up those types of numbers since becoming the first quarterback in school history. Two weeks before his freshman year, Williams transferred from North Mecklenburg to the newly opened Mallard Creek.

"I knew I had something special when he had close to 30 touchdowns as a freshman at a new school with no help," Palmieri said. "He was just a special kid from day one."

After posting 1-10 records in its first two seasons, Mallard Creek broke out with a 10-2 season in 2009 – nationally ranked Independence delivered both losses. Palmieri credits Williams with much of the turnover.

Regarding recruiting, Williams is maintaining an open mind.

"I really haven't narrowed it down," Williams said. "I'm just really concentrating on finishing the year with school. As soon as school is out, I'll start focusing on narrowing things down. Coming into my senior year is probably when I'll make my decision."

Tentatively, Williams will trim his list of schools under consideration over the summer. He plans to then announce his verbal commitment after the season-opening grudge match against Charlotte Independence.

"It's the ‘I' – you know," Williams said. "They got me twice last year and the last game in the playoffs we didn't play very well. I know they don't have [legendary head coach] Tommy Knotts, but it's still Independence."

In the meantime, Williams will attend local junior days including Duke's, North Carolina's, and NC State's. Over the summer, he's considering camping at Duke, Florida, UNC, NC State, and Notre Dame.

Last fall, Williams attended games at UNC, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

"I loved the schools' atmosphere," Williams said. "Comparing high school to college atmosphere is unbelievable. Thousands and thousands of fans, compared to 2-3 hundred high school fans. That's what I really love about college – the atmosphere."

Williams has already had conversations will several college coaches, including Duke's Scottie Montgomery, Miami's Randy Shannon, UNC's Butch Davis, and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer.

Williams last spoke to Davis a week before Signing Day.

"My cousin [Robert Williams] used to play for the Tar Heels – he wasn't there when Butch was there," Williams said. "When I was talking to [Davis], he said ‘You remind me a lot of him.' And then he said ‘You're a good person and a good quarterback. Just keep the work up.'"

Marquise Williams Profile

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