Most Wanted: Elliot Williams

Collierville shooting guard Elliot Williams is drawing offers from across the country and triggering a recruiting war within the state between Memphis, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

Ranked the nation's No. 17 overall prospect, the No. 5 shooting guard, the No. 1 high school senior in the Volunteer State and the top target on UT's recruiting board, this five-star talent is a very wanted man. In fact, if St. George's High School had a favorites category for "Most Sought After" Williams would be sure to win. Not to mention Most Athletic .

He's just as popular out of state and has high interest in both Clemson and Virginia. North Carolina and Duke got into the mix along with Texas after his standout showing with the M33M Ballers in the Kingwood Classic. So this battle could continue deep into the summer before being settled.

"Those five schools is where he was sitting," said his AAU coach Ernie Kuyper in an interview with Evan Daniels of Inside Carolina. "He's probably going to look at Duke, North Carolina and Texas and see where the best fit is for him."

Williams has made unofficial visits to his five favorites and plans to visit each campus again before reaching a decision.

"I'll probably go back to all the schools that have offered me again," he said. "I might take a visit to Duke, North Carolina and Texas, too. It's still early in the process. I'm thinking about making my decision by the end of the AAU season."

The excitement about the 6-foot-4, 175-pound Williams is understandable. He averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game over the last two seasons. He can play point guard and shooting guard or grow into a small forward. He's strong off the penetration dribble, a solid defender and demonstrates outstanding body control. He's also got a lot on the ball in the classroom and in terms of character.

"He's a great kid," Kuyper said. "He's a great student athlete. His family is well rounded. Wherever he goes the program is going to get a well-rounded kid. Not only in basketball, but you're talking in life and in general."

Shooting guard is an obvious need for UT in the Class of 2008 with All-American Chris Lofton entering his senior season on The Hill. Williams is a virtual clone of Iman Shumpert of Oak Park, Ill., who is the No. 15 ranked prospect in Scout.com's Hot 100 and No. 4 shooting guard. The Vols are also a strong contender for Shumpert. Getting one of the two would be an achievement.

Scout.com's Dave Telep describes Williams as follows: "Excellent student and elite level guard. Capable of playing up to three positions on the perimeter. Has the hoop IQ, talent and ability to play college basketball at the highest level. Hit his stride as a junior and is one of the best at his position."

Adding Elliot Williams to a class that already includes Philip Jurick of Chattanooga, along with transfer J.P. Prince of Memphis and possibly transfer Tyler Smith of Pulaski, would give Big Orange basketball a decided Tennessee flavor.


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