Relentless DE high on Beavs, feeling mutual

IN RECRUITING, first impressions are important and the Beavs have made a rather large one on a DE out of Arizona. His junior college coach says he expects the 6-3, 260-pounder with 4.6 speed will put together a special kind of year in '07 and others showing early interest include Oklahoma, USC and several schools in the SEC. The lad, however, has a leader in OSU because of a specific conversation.

Josh Williams (6-3, 260, 4.6) has had phone conversations with Oregon State, USC and San Diego State, with Oregon State the most frequent this recruiting year.

Oklahoma also has Williams high up on their board and Texas Tech and virtually everyone in the SEC has made inquiries. The contact from the Sooners and many schools thus far has been all through Arizona Western coach James Pryor. Beaver coach Mike Cavanaugh is running the recruiting point on Williams.

"Oregon State I'm talking to them a lot," said Williams. "Coach Cav (I talked to) a couple days before they started their training camp."

Academics will be key to his decision, with Williams saying his primary goal, by far, is to get his degree. And that is one of the biggest reasons why Oregon State leads is because of a talk he had with Beaver assistant Joe Seumalo.

"I'm just looking for a good education, honestly. To get that degree will really mean a lot me and my family," said Williams. "And with Oregon State, the defensive line coach, he seems really interested in having his guys graduate. Oregon State for me, they're No. 1 as of right now, just from talking to defensive line coach about that."

WILLIAMS DOES not yet have an offer but 1) that's not too unusual with a slew of offers for junior college players extended after the season gets underway, 2) now at Arizona Western, this will be the first extended look many D-IA schools will get of Williams and, 3) Pryor says if Williams has the kind of year he envisions he will, scholie offers will most certainly follow.

DE Luis Vasquez was a junior college All-American out of Arizona Western last year -- and both Cavanaugh and Pryor say Williams compares very favorably to Vasquez.

"(Cavanaugh) said that with Luis Vasquez -- and Luis is an awesome player, and I really look up to Luis a lot -- he said Luis was more of a speed rusher guy and I'm more of a guy that's stronger, plays the run well, and who is also quick off the ball and can get to the quarterback as well. He said he liked my motor and that I'm relentless. And that's the way I like to play -- relentlessly. He's just said they're very interested in me," said Williams.

"He's probably one of our biggest recruits this year...He ran a 4.6 for us this spring and that's really moving for a guy his size. He's as good as Luis Vasquez was for us last year and he was an All-American so that should tell you how special Josh is as a defensive end," Pryor told last month.

WILLIAMS, A self described "inner-city kid" from New York has taken a winding, sometimes trying and humbling -- and ultimately character building -- path to get to where he is today.

He attended prep school in New Hampshire before heading to Allen Hancock JC in California. Williams said it was a rough experience in the Golden State trying to make ends meet, not being on scholarship, but had he not gone through the adversity in Santa Maria, he wouldn't have found Arizona Western.

"I learned a lot (in New Hampshire), and I met a lot of different kinds of people. It helped me learn and make me a better person socially, before I didn't really know how best to interact with different people from different cultures. And I went through a lot in Cali...just some personal struggles and money was tight...but I looked on the internet and I found coach Pryor, called him and he called me back in five minutes. And life is good now, I'm very happy," said Williams.

An all combine performer at a combine, Williams put up 30 bench press reps with 225 pounds on the bar. On pace to graduate in December and then be eligible to join a school for spring ball, he will have 2-to-play-2 at the next level.

USC has told Williams they don't anticipate making an early decision of if they would offer. "They said it was going to be a long process," said Williams.

Josh Williams profile

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