Irish Surprise Williams

Defensive back prospect Michael Williams of St. Bonaventure high school (Ventura, Calif.) traveled to South Bend the past two summers to participate in the Notre Dame football camp. Last summer he worked out with the new Irish staff with hopes that his efforts would earn him a scholarship offer. Payday has come.

It was about a year ago at this time that I first spoke with Michael Williams (5-10, 175-pounds). I had contacted him after the U.S. Army combine to get his thoughts on recruiting and Notre Dame. He answered my questions politely, although he was a little hesitant. I didn't find out until the end of the conversation that Michael was still in his sophomore year of high school. Although he had a tremendous combine, even the most ravenous recruiting fan would agree that it was a bit premature for an interview.

A full year later, Michael's name again was mentioned as one of the top players in California and a prospect that Notre Dame was recruiting. I finally caught up with the standout defensive back in February for my first real interview with him. Notre Dame was indeed recruiting him, but he was a little uncertain about the amount of interest the Irish staff had in him. Last Friday he found out.

"I got great news from Notre Dame," Michael said with obvious excitement. " They offered me. I was never expecting it when I got the letter. I was just blown away. When I went to camp, I didn't even know I was on his (Weis') radar.

"I got it in the mail last Friday. My dad got it that morning and he called everyone. He got a pretty big phone bill that day. He came and picked me up from school because he said he had to tell me something – randomly. I thought ‘this was weird', because I have a car.

"I called the coaching staff the following day," Williams continued. "I talked to coach Weis. I was excited hearing from him. I told him I was excited about the offer and I couldn't wait to discuss it with my dad."

As excited as Williams was to receive the Irish offer, he is going to take a step back and evaluate all his options. Michael already had a solid offer sheet with Michigan, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, and Mississippi.

"Maintain my grades," Williams replied when asked what he would do now that he had an offer from Notre Dame. "It's kind of a process. You have to look at your options, and not commit too early. You don't want to get in a bind and not be able to go to any other schools. I have to look at my options right now. I'll look at everyone else, but Notre Dame is at the top of my list right now."

Although the Notre Dame coaching staff saw Michael at last year's football camp, that won't dissuade him from opting to participate at the camp again.

"Either one would be great," Williams replied when asked if he would make a trip to the Notre Dame spring game or attend the football camp. "I'd still like to show them what I have, so I'd still like to come to camp… and the spring game. Both would be a trip."

As a junior Williams recorded 98 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. Top Stories