When Dallas Lincoln defensive back Cristian Williams pledged to SMU in June, he said SMU Defensive Coordinator Tom Mason was a big factor. More than two months after his commitment, Williams still gushes about Mason.
“He was a great recruiter,” Williams said. “From the moment I first talked to him, I knew he wasn’t kidding [around]. He stayed in touch every day; he’s always talking to me. I really like how he’s like a father figure. He’s a great coach. My mom really loves him, so I knew [SMU] was the place to be.”
Williams said he has been to SMU’s campus a lot since committing. He was supposed to visit with fellow commits Michael and Delontae Scott last week, but he was unable to. But he has still enjoyed his visits to the Hilltop.
“I like the facilities, they are really, really nice,” Williams said. “I like the campus, it’s very quiet and diverse. I’ve seen a lot of different races, and I like stuff like that. I want to get to know a lot of people and meet a lot of people from different cultures.”
Lincoln, like most high school teams, has started practicing already, but Williams said he still wants to leave time to go back to SMU again.
“We (Lincoln) practice [the same] time SMU practices, so I’ll have to work it into my schedule. I’m going to try to make it one more time before my actual football season starts.”
Mason has also talked with Williams about his role on his future team’s defense. Williams primarily plays safety, but Mason will have him play a lot at cornerback as well, so Williams has focused on getting stronger and refining his technique.
“I’m focused on getting big,” said Williams. “I’ve gained five or 6 pounds this summer alone, and I’m trying to get my footwork right because [when] I play corner, I need to learn a new position on the field.”
Williams will not play cornerback during his senior season. He will stick to his usual safety spot and also see some time at receiver.
The 6-foot, 175-pound Williams will be counted on as one of the leaders for Lincoln, and he likes his team’s chances to make a playoff run this year.
“I think we’ve got a pretty good chance at making it deep in the playoffs,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of returning seniors, and that’s really going to put us ahead of the game, and I feel like some of the underclassmen are going to step up. I coach them around, because I know I’m a senior this year, so I’ve got to be a great leader and coach them up a little bit.”