Williams Needed Stamp of Approval

Defensive end prospect Hafis Williams got the feeling early on his recent trip to Notre Dame, but the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Williams wanted to make sure before pulling the trigger on the Irish. Now, he's sure.

Walking around Notre Dame campus for the first time was all it took for Hafis Williams to get bit by the Notre Dame bug.

"You just feel it when you're there," Williams said of his first visit to Notre Dame. "I went for the spring game and I felt it as soon as I stepped on campus. I felt really comfortable with it. I just felt like I fit in really well there."

Williams spent a lot of time taking in the sight and speaking with the Irish coaching staff.

"I got to spend some time with the players and the coaches," he said. "I really felt good about everybody I talked with. Everyone made me feel real at home. I really liked coach Weis and all the coaches. They made me feel like I was wanted, and I'd be a big part of their plans on defense. I just felt it was the place for me the minute I was there."

Williams said he was close to committing on the spot during the weekend of the Blue/Gold game, but his love for his grandmother was the reason he didn't.

"She's really special in my life. I know she wanted me to stay close to home so she could watch me play, but she knew what I wanted to do," Williams said. "It all became official yesterday. She talked with coach Weis and she felt really comfortable with him. She gave the stamp of approval and told me to follow my dreams. That's all it took for me."

The Elizabeth, N.J. native says he couldn't be happier with his decision to commit to Notre Dame.

"It's a big weight off my shoulders," he said. "Now I can just focus on football and my senior season. Everyone around here has been very happy for me. They've been congratulating me and telling me I made the right decision. I'm very happy about it."

Williams also said there would be no second-guessing his decision.

"My word is my bond," he said when asked if his recruitment was over at this point. "I know where I want to go, that's why I committed. I really want to play for coach Weis and coach Brown."

Speaking of Corwin Brown, Williams said the new Irish defensive coordinator was a big reason he chose Notre Dame.

"You could see it when I went out there," Williams said of Brown. "He's a really animated coach. It's the spring game and he's super excited. He's getting everyone fired up. He's a really enthusiastic coach, and that's the type of coach I love to play for."

Williams became the 11th verbal commitment for the Irish this season, and the second defensive linemen to pledge for Notre Dame.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories