Blue-chip athlete Maurice Williams (6-foot-1 inches, 190 pounds) from Strong Vincent High School in Erie, PA placed a call on Thursday morning to commit to the Panthers. As a senior, "Mo" was selected first team Class AAA all-state by the Associated Press. The PantherDigest.com spoke with Williams about his decision.
"Coach (Paul) Rhodes has always been my main contact and I wanted to call him first. He seemed really happy on the phone when I told him I was committing," said Williams.
Maurice chose the Panthers over Penn State, West Virginia, Iowa, Maryland, Syracuse and Connecticut. He visited the Panthers the second week in December and it appeared he was on the cusp of a commitment. When asked why he prolonged his decision, he stated, "This was a big decision and I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. I always liked Pitt but I wanted to maybe take one more visit. I tried to get something set up with Iowa but it didn't work out. I went with my gut and chose Pitt."
Scout.com ranks Williams the 28th best wide receiver in the nation and a "four-star" recruit. Superprep Magazine and Scout.com's Allen Wallace referred to him as the "next Steve Breaston". Maurice, like Breaston, played quarterback in high school but projects as a wide receiver in college.
"I have always liked the coaching staff at Pitt. I felt comfortable with them from the very start of the recruiting process. That heavily factored into my decision," said Williams. "Pitt's close to home, my family can watch me play and it looks like I have a chance to play early. I brought my mother to the last visit and she really liked Pitt as well. I know she's comfortable with my decision."
His senior season, Williams completed 43 of 89 passes for 829 yards. "Mo" rushed for 660 yards and averaged 16 yards on punt returns.
"I'm really happy with my decision and I'm excited to be a Panther."
Pitt Football Recruiting ~ Who's next? With the number of available scholarships diminishing, the Panthers will focus on several key players including defensive ends Tony Tucker and Jabaal Sheard, tight end Chris Drager, wide receiver Derek Moye and defensive back Bryan Williams. Tucker, a lightning fast defensive end prospect from Washington D.C., will chose between Pitt and Virginia Tech this weekend at the East Meets West All-American game this weekend in Orlando, FL. Williams, a standout from Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA, recently told the PantherDigest.com that he would commit to Pitt when he visits on January 19th. Drager, a Virginia Tech commitment, will be visiting next weekend. Moye, a tall and athletic receiver, will visit Pitt this weekend. He appears to be down to Pitt, WVU and Penn State.
Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at email@example.com.