Williams Has Eyes on Irish

The Irish took three safeties in the 2006 recruiting class, but they'll need to add at least one more to the roster in 2007. Michael Williams of St. Bonaventure high school (Ventura, Calif.) will be a top player on the West Coast next season and he likes the idea of playing for Notre Dame.

Michael Williams (5-11, 180) isn't your average player going through the recruiting process. Last year, as a sophomore, he was invited to the U.S. Army junior combine. He's also made he effort to travel to South Bend two consecutive years to attend Notre Dame's football camp.

"They knew football," Williams replied when asked his impression of the new Irish coaching staff. "They had everything planned. They accepted nothing but hard work. I liked being pushed and they pushed me. I primarily worked with the defensive backs coach (Brian Polian)."

Coach Polian recruits California for the Irish, so it will benefit Williams that he had a chance to work with Polian. It is obvious that Williams has made an impression on Notre Dame, because it didn't take them long to make a visit to St. Bonaventure.

"Coach Brian Polian stopped by two weeks ago," Williams said when asked about recruiting. "They couldn't say anything really because of the NCAA rules. They talked to my coach and he relayed it back to me.

"He said they liked me, but they are only giving out one safety scholarship next year. I'm looking good for safety, but if not I'm a return specialist so there's always a possibility for that.

"I think I could play corner, I haven't played it high school, but I think I could switch positions," Williams added.

"USC was down at our school the day before Notre Dame was. I have offers from Michigan and ASU. UCLA has been sending me a lot of stuff. Notre Dame sends me a lot of letters," Williams said of the schools recruiting him the hardest. "I really haven't assembled a list, but Notre Dame is definitely up there in the top three -- easily."

Williams is a Notre Dame fan, he has two uncles that played for the Irish. Michael like what he saw from the Irish in Charlie Weis' first year.

"I thought it was a great season and a great turnaround," Williams said when asked about Notre Dame. "I like both coach Willingham and coach Weis, but I was impressed by this year. The education interests me more than the football. I love the football because of the tradition, but the education is great."

His junior year, Williams had 98 tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 sacks. He had 727 kick return yards (50 yards per return) and 4 touchdowns. He also averaged 24.5 yards per punt return.

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