Irish make final run at Williams

Notre Dame will make its closing statement with four-star running back Dexter Williams on Friday as three other programs continue to push for a late official visit.

Miami, Michigan and Texas A&M want Dexter Williams on campus this weekend.

Notre Dame will attempt to make sure that doesn’t happen on Friday afternoon when running backs coach Tony Alford visits West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla., as the Irish coaching staff makes its final visits before National Signing Day. Alford has been a fixture at the central Florida program during the past couple months as the Irish have made Williams their top running back target to pair with commitment Josh Adams.

Williams will announce his decision next week on National Signing Day with Notre Dame running out front for the 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete. However, the Hurricanes, Wolverines and Aggies haven’t let go.

“They all wanted him to go somewhere, we’re trying to not let that happen,” West Orange head coach Bob Head told Irish Illustrated on Friday. “He could have went to A&M. He could have went to Michigan. We're trying to keep everything settled, keep the waters still, if you know what I'm saying. It's hard.

“These schools are coming in hard because they’re losing guys and pushing extremely hard.”

Miami has running back commitments from a pair of four-star athletes in Jordan Scarlett and Mark Walton, both from the Miami area. Texas A&M has a pledge from four-star Jay Bradford while Michigan is without a running back commitment, although they’re pressing for Ohio State pledge Mike Weber.

Williams was a former Miami commitment, who reopened his process in January, with an official visit to Notre Dame coming on Jan. 23. He’d twice postponed visits to South Bend during the season, first for the Louisville game and then again for the team’s awards show in December.

Williams rushed 142 times for 1,134 yards and 13 touchdowns last season in his first year at West Orange after transferring from Olympia. Head and his staff moved from Olympia to West Orange before the 2013 season, with Williams following a season later. While at Olympia, Head coached Washington State receiver Isiah Meyers, who is the brother of former Notre Dame cornerback Lo Wood.

That connection helped Head get to know Alford, who’s been Notre Dame’s recruiter in Florida for the past six-plus years.

“Coach Alford is a good friend of mine,” Head said. “I know all those guys.”


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories