BEAVERTON, Ore. - JoeJuan Williams got a better feel for his own game after the first session of on-field competition at The Opening Finals.
Williams, a four-star safety from Nashville, Tenn., went against some of the best wide receivers and tight ends in the country. He felt good about the results, but more so being tested against better competition than back home.
“It’s just testing yourself,” Williams said. “You compete every day and you want to compete with the best. High school is pretty different from here. You never see this level of competition at high school, so you just want to see where you fit in with the best. I feel like I did pretty good.”
Williams recently cut his list to 10 contenders.
Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, USC, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Penn State remain standing. Williams plans to cut it down to five by the end of the summer with an eye on official visits during the season.
“It’s just really what I feel like is comfortable and what I feel is the best situation for me,” Williams said. “What they feel like they see me as and I feel good there. That’s how I got down to this (group). It’s gonna be really hard to get down to five. We’ll see how it goes.”
Williams will begin that process with another round of visits, starting with Georgia on July 18 for Dawg Night. He’s also plans to see Florida State, LSU and Tennessee again in short order.
Last month the 6-foot-3, 194-pound prospect made the trek to Notre Dame, although the Irish didn’t make his latest cut.
“I just didn’t feel it,” Williams said. “Me not being a Catholic, I know they don’t push it on you. But me going to a Catholic school at Father Ryan for three years, I loved the school but I just don’t feel like I can do it again. I wish the best for the coaches. I already know they’re gonna do great.”
While making the move to 10 remaining programs, Williams found cutting off relationships one of the most stressful parts.
“It’s really difficult because of the relationships that you build with the coaches,” Williams said. “They’re like your home boys. But it’s all good. It’s really for the best of you because you’ve got to stay there for four years.
“It’s just where my heart wants me to go. That’s gonna be really big. Cutting off some schools, cutting off relationships with coaches is pretty sad. But in the end it’s just a business. They’re all in it for business, so that’s how it’s gonna go down.”