Vols Eye Hoover Receiver

Cornelius Williams wasn't a happy camper after a sub par showing at UT's senior camp (June 18), but the Hoover High School wide receiver is glad to have grabbed his second D-I scholarship offer, and he's eagerly anticipating his first from an SEC school.

Mississippi State appears ready to jump into the market for the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Hoover, Ala., pass-catcher, who boasts 4.5 speed and has been an important part of the Buccaneers' ongoing reign as Class-6A state champions.

"I feel like Mississippi State may be close to offering," Williams told Scout.com's Andrew Bone. "I performed well at Alabama's seven-v-seven camp, but I don't know if they will offer."

In addition to Bama, which has dipped deeply into Hoover's talent pool in recent years, Auburn is interested in Williams as are Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Clemson and Louisville among others. He has offers from Southern Mississippi and Middle Tennessee and is sure to gain plenty of exposure as a celebrated member of the nation's preseason No. 1 team. Hoover has won three titles in a row and four of the last five crowns in the state's highest classification. The Bucs's 2005 season opener against Nease High School will be broadcast by ESPN.

A three-year starter, Cornelius Williams had 955 yards in receptions as a junior and 10 touchdowns. He clocked an eye-popping 4.42 forty at the Mountain Brook Combine and is a physical blocker that quickly converts from prey to predator. He had some good moments at Tennessee's camp, but didn't catch the ball with consistency and had some problems adjusting to passes thrown behind him. He has a chance to redeem himself this weekend at Mississippi State's camp and July 16, at Auburn's camp.

"The camp went well," he told Bone of his weekend visit. "I wasn't happy with my drill work, but when I ran my routes I did really good. I did very good during one-on-ones. Knoxville is a huge city. There weren't a lot of people at the camp. It was nice though."

Williams also visited Tennessee on Junior Day in the spring and is high on the Vols and impressed with UT's team chemistry. He's a target that Fulmer & Co. will continue to evaluate during the coming months. For sure, Williams will have the perfect proving ground this fall and his experience as a recognized leader at such a prestigious pigskin program significantly elevates his value as a college prospect.

Of course, running a 4.42 doesn't hurt any either.

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