Note: On Friday January 3rd, James Hale interviewed the newest Sooner commitment, defensive back Darien Williams of Mesquite Texas. Here are the highlights of that interview.
JH: Darien, even with all the excitement of Oklahoma's first trip to the Rose Bowl, when news of your commitment shot through the staff it was the big news of the day.
DW: "Well thank you, I feel the same way. It was a certainly a blessed week in the Williams household."
JH: You came in for your visit with eight other top ranked players. Many people questioned how smart it was for Oklahoma to bring in such high profile recruits at the end of finals when many students were leaving for semester break. How did that effect your visit?
DW: "It didn't really. I had already visited Norman for a game and I knew how crazy it could get, so really it was a nice balance. It's not always going to be a party atmosphere in college. You're trying to select a place that you'll call home for four years. There has to be a comfort level about that."
JH: So you weren't overwhelmed on your visit?
DW: "You're right, and I wasn't looking to be. I had to make a serious decision based on serious considerations, not based on if the schools' ability to ‘blow me away'."
JH: So what was it that stood out for Oklahoma?
DW: "First the coaches. The way they recruited me, their sincerity, and the fact that they're the best anywhere. The Oklahoma tradition – it's unbelievable. I visited for a game and the fans were terrific, always cheering, full stadium, loud, just very supportive of the team."
JH: Didn't you have a chance to witness the OU Texas game?
DW: "Yes I did. It was wild. Unlike anything I'd ever been to. I love the way the OU fans stayed with it when their team was down a bit, and then how they really got after the Texas fans."
JH: Playing with Tarrell Brown at North Mesquite, you had to have one of the top high schools secondaries anywhere?
DW: "Yeah, we were named the number one secondary in Texas. We were pretty good."
JH: What was your position in that great defensive backfield?
DW: "Generally I played the strong safety. I can play corner, in fact, before my junior year I was always a corner, but I like the strong safety position a bit better."
JH: How did your year end up for the team and your own stats?
DW: "We finished 9-2, losing to Lufkin in the semifinals. I believe I had 77 tackles, 1 interception and four or five breakups'"
JH: Now didn't you play Grand Prairie, and face their junior quarterback Rhett Bomar?
DW: "Yes we did! He was amazing. Unbelievable, really, really good. Sometimes I didn't know where his arm was coming from, he totally kept you on edge the entire night."
JH: Was he the best quarterback you faced in high school?
DW: "By far. He was supposed to be a hot head, but I never saw that. After the game I went and talked with him and he was very nice."
JH: When you hear of a great QB coming up, does that get you charged up?
DW: "Yes, I'm a competitor. I want to play against the best."
JH: Looking at the Oklahoma secondary, what are your thoughts on them?
DW: "I like the way they play aggressive, tough. They've got some young players but those guys are going to get much better. Bassey is only a freshman but he plays 100%, he works hard. With all the young players I think they'll be good for a long time to come."
JH: Do you think the OU system will be difficult to learn?
DW: "No, not really. It's very similar to what we do here. The strong safety's first responsibility is run support, but he must be very versatile in pass coverage. It'll be a challenge, but I think I'll adjust fairly fast."
JH: So now that football is over, what's next for you in terms of athletics? Don't you run track as well?
DW: "Yes I do. I run the 100 meter, the triple jump and the first leg of our sprint relay."
JH: I know Tarrell Brown also runs on that sprint relay, do you know where he'll end up?
DW: "He'll sign with Texas. We've been very good friends for a long time, so it'll be something to face off against him in the Cotton Bowl each year. But I think our friendship is strong enough to last past that game. We're both very competitive so we'll actually look forward to going against each other."
JH: Congratulations on your decision, and thank you for joining us this morning.
DW: "Thank you for having me on."
RECRUITING: Newest Sooner talks about decision
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
Video: Bob Stoops after Tech, heading to KUWatch OU coach Bob Stoops' full opening statement trying to reconcile what happened vs. Tech and looking ahead to Kansas.
Sooners Illustrated11:33 AM
Przybylo: Back to drawing board for OU's DOU's defense must find its heart, soul and identity pretty quickly because things will only get tougher for Sooners down stretch run of Big 12 play.
Sooners Illustrated7:02 AM
Video: Joe Mixon with historic outing for OUOU coach Bob Stoops talks about the huge performance running back Joe Mixon had in Sooners 66-59 win at Texas Tech.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 2:50 PM
Home sweet home in Lubbock for Baker MayfieldA sweeter reunion there couldn't have been for OU quarterback Baker Mayfield in his return to Lubbock.
Sooners IllustratedSaturday at 11:23 PM