The Making of the Brew Crew: Part 10

The commitment of Nathan Williams added some serious muscle to the Brew Crew. Williams has been told he will fill the role played by Bobby Carpenter during his time at Ohio State. Bill Greene has more on Nathan Williams.

The commitment of Nathan Williams might have taken place minutes after he received his offer, had he actually known he DID have an offer. After waiting for months to officially receive his coveted Ohio State scholarship offer, Nathan Williams nearly missed the text message from Buckeye head coach Jim Tressel.

"I loved Ohio State when we moved back to Ohio for my freshman year," Williams started. "We were in California for eleven years and once we came back to Washington Court House I started getting recruited by Ohio State. I've been to almost every home game since my sophomore season. Ohio State was the only place for me, but I wondered if I would ever get my offer for the longest time."

Williams was recruited for a longer period of time than any of his more famous future teammates. He also waited for an offer longer than most of them as well. Waiting on his offer proved to be quite frustrating for him.

"Coach [Luke] Fickell started recruiting me as a sophomore," Williams explained. "I always felt like they would offer, but by the time I got to the end of my junior year I began to worry. I had received offers from a lot of schools but I always wanted the Ohio State offer. That was the only offer I wanted. Ever. Coach {Jim] Heacock was recruiting me too. I would tell him I wanted to be a Buckeye and he would tell me everything would happen in time. Jim Tressel visited my school in February and I thought for sure that would be my time, but he didn't offer. I kept seeing other kids get offered that weren't being recruited for as long as I was. I was getting so frustrated and really worried. I just didn't know what was going on, because the coaches were texting me all the time and saying that my time would come. I think they were waiting on my ACT score, which came back in February, but they never said that was the holdup."

Finally, in April, the offer he wanted so badly finally arrived, but Nathan Williams didn't know it for three hours after it was extended. He described that eventful evening.

"It was April 24th, I'll never forget that," he said with a laugh. "Coach Heacock was at my school for most of the day and went to my track meet. He spoke with some of my teachers, my assistant principal, and even a few students about me. It seemed like he was really checking up on me a lot, trying to find out what I was like. He did stay and attend my track meet, but he couldn't talk with me according to NCAA rules. I went up to him after the meet to shake his hand, and all he said was that Jim Tressel would be getting in touch with me that evening. I was so excited from that point on that I went home and just went to my basement to wait to hear from Coach Tressel."

According to NCAA rules Jim Tressel could not call Nathan Williams, but he could send him a text message. That's exactly what Tressel did, but Nathan Williams' cell phone service didn't pick up the message. Williams discussed what his feelings were as the evening wore on.

"As I headed for home I pretty much felt that it was the right time and I was ecstatic," Williams recalled. "I called some of my family and a few friends and told them that this could be the night. I headed to my basement to be alone and wait for the call or text message. I was playing Madden and wondering what was going on. I stayed in the basement until nearly 11 o'clock that night. When I went upstairs I could see that I hadn't had any cell phone service. As soon as I got upstairs my text messages popped up, and sure enough there was a message from Coach Tressel. He had texted me about three hours earlier and he was offering me a scholarship. I didn't want to call him because it was so late, so I answered him instantly and told him I would accept his offer. I wanted to write some long, intelligent message, but I was so scared he might be wondering where I was, that I just answered him right away. Those three hours seemed like it lasted forever. I was playing Madden and trying not to think about it. I had waited for this moment for so long that it was too upsetting to think about it, so I just concentrated on my game and tried not to be too disappointed. I would think back to all the times I had visited Ohio State, and all the times the coaches would tell me how much they liked me and how I could do good things at Ohio State. I thought they would offer me so many times before, that I was about pulling my hair out. I couldn't figure out why Coach Heacock would be at my school for seven hours and then leave me hanging. When I got that text message I was so relieved, and I just started calling everybody and telling them what had happened. I didn't go to sleep until close to 3 o'clock in the morning."

Nathan needn't have worried about Jim Tressel wondering why he hadn't answered back immediately. Soon after accepting the Ohio State scholarship that night, Williams heard back from his future head coach.

"Not long after I sent Coach Tressel a text accepting his offer, I heard back from him," Williams explained. "He just congratulated me on my decision and he welcomed me into the Buckeye family. He said he would be in to school to see me in May. All the pressure was released that night and I felt like a weight was lifted off my back."

Williams hasn't had as much contact with the other commits as people would imagine. He is looking forward to bonding with his future teammates during his visit for the Wisconsin game.

"I think I know Devier Posey the best and he's a very cool guy," Williams said of the Cincinnati star. "The other guys never really started talking to me until after I committed. I would see them at the games, and it was funny because I had been going to Ohio State games longer than those guys were. They just got their offers way before I did, but it doesn't matter because we're all the same now. I knew Mike Adams was a big teddy bear kind of a guy. I like Mike a lot. I saw Jake Stoneburner at a track meet after I committed and we talked about playing together at Ohio State. He was the first one to get in touch with me and offer congratulations after I committed. Then Brewster and Devier started texting me. I saw them at the Northwestern game, but when I go to a game I get pretty involved in watching football, and not socializing. I'm just not a big internet guy and I'm really not on my phone a lot. I can't wait until all of us are together for the Wisconsin game and we can get to know each other better. I like guys that are all about winning and that's why we're all going to get along so well. That's all I care about, just winning football games. I was at camp with them this summer, but I was the only one participating. They were all walking around and greeting people and I was doing all the drills. They probably thought I was nuts, but I love to work out and compete. I can't wait to just be able to hang out and form relationships with the guys."

Nathan Williams is a throwback to an era gone by. He is the recruiting equivalent to John Wayne, and while he may not be the most outgoing guy in the world, he has exactly the right mental makeup to be a great football player at Ohio State. There is no question about his physical skills.

"I'm just so excited to get down there and compete for playing time," Williams explained. "Coach Heacock told me he wants to fill the role that Bobby Carpenter played a few years ago, sort of a combination linebacker and defensive end. My strength is the ability to run sideline to sideline and get to the quarterback. I've been timed at anywhere from a high 4.4 to a low 4.5 in the forty yard dash. I love working out in the weight room and it's a passion of mine. I love playing with my hand down and rushing the quarterback. I think I'm a little weak at pass coverage and I'm sure Ohio State will teach me how to be better at that. I do a lot of speed training. I want to leave Ohio State as one of the best defensive players ever to play there. I've been lifting seriously for five years now. I get to the school early in the morning to lift and I'm dedicated to working out as hard as I can."

Williams also has an idea of what he wants to study at Ohio State. He discussed his academic goals and what he hopes to accomplish in the future.

"I'm looking at majoring in business, but I also want to look into what I can do to help out in the special education field," he stated. "I've been involved in assisting our special education classes at my school for the past three years. That's an area that I want to continue to be involved in. It means a lot to me."

Current Buckeye Brian Hartline once told me that everybody at Ohio State had tremendous talent, but the truly successful players were able to be coached and they played the game fast. After seeing Williams on film and speaking with him, it's easy to see he meets both qualifications. I expect Nathan Williams to make his mark at Ohio State, both on and off the football field. Join us tomorrow when we will take another inside look at the "Making of the Brew Crew,"

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