Williams, a four-star prospect and the nation's No. 4 center in the Scout.com rankings, signed with the Buckeyes in November but did not enroll with the rest of his class June 21. According to Fred Massey, who was Williams' position coach at Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day School, said this setback is merely temporary.
"I think it caught him off guard, but one thing it proves to him is if you're going to make it at this level in basketball and also academically, it's an exercise in mental strength," the coach said. "What we can do is use this as a positive going forward in order to learn a lesson. If you get behind, it's always a dogfight to catch up. The good thing is he's entered the fight and he's progressing."
According to Massey, Williams went through an adjustment period when he enrolled at DCDS after having previously attended an inner-city public school.
"The pace that Country Day is at versus the school he was coming from, it was so unusual," the coach said. "You have to get used to time management. You have to learn how to study. These were things that were really foreign coming in so he fell a little behind. What's happening now is he's definitely college-ready with the classes that he's had at Country Day.
"What he's doing now is he's making up for what he didn't know at the age of 14. "
Listed at 6-10, 220 pounds, Williams chose the Buckeyes after also heavily considering Florida. He also held scholarship offers from Arizona, Cincinnati, Duke, DePaul, Michigan, Purdue, and Oklahoma. Rated the No. 48 overall prospect in his class, Williams has been pegged as a player who could come in and immediately contribute for head coach Thad Matta's team.
The rest of OSU's class of 2011 reported to campus as scheduled. While Williams remains at home, Massey said he received a packet from the OSU staff with workouts prescribed for the players already enrolled.
"Thad has called him and just told him to finish up everything strong and keep a positive attitude and just keep working," Massey said. "We'll use it as a learning tool. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for a kid to have to go through some adversity."