Williams 'excited' to visit Vols

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JoeJuan Williams says he's "thankful" for Tennessee.

The Vols were the first to offer the class of 2016 prospect from Father Ryan (Tenn.) High School in early May, and sometimes one offer is all it takes to get the ball rolling.

Since, Williams has added offers from Kentucky and Ole Miss. He's also been receiving heavy interest from Penn State and Vanderbilt and believes both programs are "very close" to extending a scholarship.

"Yeah, the first offer means a lot. I won't forget that. That's so nice. It really means a lot," the versatile defensive player told InsideTennessee. "You know, most schools hop on board after that first offer and it's that first one that gets everything going. It just shows they believe in me. I really like that."

Growing up just a few hours from the heart of Big Orange country, Williams has heard plenty of positives about the Tennessee program all his life.

So naturally, he's excited to finally see if for himself. Williams plans to visit Tennessee for the first time on May 24, adding that he's most excited to visit with coaches and tour the Vols' newly renovated athletic facilities.

"There's always been a lot of buzz about Tennessee from around here," Williams said. "I know it's a big-time place. So much buzz about the Vols, man. I'm really excited to check it out."

And that "buzz" is part of the reason Williams says he's so high on the Vols.

Tennessee's new coaching staff has emphasized making their presence known in the mid-state area. Williams has taken notice.

"I really, really love how hard they recruit the in-state guys and just the Nashville area in general," Williams said. "It's like one big Tennessee family. They're trying to get all the best in the state and I really like that."

It's still early, but Williams said the Vols are "tied" with Penn State and Vanderbilt as his leaders.

"I'm just blessed by all this," Williams told IT. "I just want to enjoy it."

The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder said finding a program with a "family feel," having a good relationship with a coaching staff and early playing time top his list of biggest factors in his recruitment.

While Williams has never visited Knoxville, he knows Tennessee already possesses at least one of those thongs.

"I really like coach (Tommy) Thigpen. He's, like, a really great guy. I really like him a lot," Williams said. "I think he's the best recruiter I've ever talked to. We talk all the time and we always have great talks. I really like him. I feel very comfortable with him."

Williams is also planning to visit Ole Miss sometime this summer.

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