Practice Tour: Marquise Williams

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- As promised, Marquise Williams is doubling as a recruiter for North Carolina in his limited spare time.

The top target on the 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback's personal recruiting board is cross-town receiver Kris Frost.

"[Frost] said he's really interested in Carolina, now that I'm committed there," Williams said. "Coach [Everett] Withers said a lot of people committed since I committed, so I guess I [had an affect] without doing much recruiting."

During a recent photo shoot, Williams received a chance to really put it on Frost.

"[Frost] was saying that he liked UNC, but he grew up [following] Michigan," Williams explained. "I told him I grew up being a Miami fan, but I couldn't focus on that when it came to recruiting."

Williams plans to increase his recruiting workload.

"I'm supposed to call Coach Withers [Wednesday] and find out who they are really going after," Williams said. "I want to be talking to Carolina's top targets.

In addition to regularly calling Withers, Williams phones John Shoop, UNC's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, twice a week.

"[Shoop] is saying he's ready for me to come up so I can compete and help him win an ACC championship," Williams said. "I love the ACC, so that's one of the main things we talk about."

In spite of his commitment – and recruiting efforts – Williams will honor the official visits he scheduled to Michigan (Oct. 9 versus Michigan State) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 16 versus Wake Forest). UNC is fine with him taking those trips, according to Williams.

"Don't worry, because I'm a Tar Heel," Williams said.

Williams won't take his UNC official visit until after the season. However, he plans to attend a few UNC home games this fall.

"I'll stop by a couple times just to show my face," Williams said. "I'll probably hit the Georgia Tech game up."

Expectations are high at Mallard Creek High School this fall. The Mavericks were 10-2 last season and return most of their key players, including several four-year starters.

"I'm comfortable with the guys we have coming back," Mallard Creek head football coach Mike Palmieri said. "But every year is a little different. We have some guys that need to step it up this year in certain spots. We do have a great core of kids returning on both sides of the ball."

Mallard Creek opens the season at Independence High School, the school that handed the Mavericks both of their losses last season.

"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."

Mallard Creek is breaking in a new offensive coordinator – Aaron Brand, a former West Charlotte High School head coach and Knotts disciple.

"We're running some new stuff," Palmieri said. "[Brand] is going to put some new things in there. We're still running the football [and] throwing the football 50-50."

Being a four-year starter at quarterback has lowered Williams' learning curve.

"Marquise's experience helped him learned the offense a lot faster than a new kid," Palmieri said. "At any level of football, your quarterback play is very, very important. When you've got an experienced guy over there it takes away a lot of the teaching and he knows a lot of the stuff that we want to do."

Williams, though, is the centerpiece of the offense, which will showcase his arm a little more and leave more of the rushing attack to the running backs.

"He's going to be doing the same things he's been doing the last couple of years – he's going to throw it, then run it when he needs to," Palmieri said. "But hopefully we can save Marquise as far as running early on in the season and save him for the playoffs, because last year he was kind of banged up going into the playoff games. As far as the formations, [they'll be] pretty much similar to last year." Marquise Williams Profile

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