At NC State, the Wolfpack inked Manny Lawson in 2002, and he enrolled as a 6'5, 195-pound wide receiver. Now Lawson is a 6'5, 240-pound defensive end who projects as a first round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
One prospect who has the same size as Lawson but projects to stay at wide receiver is Orlando (FL) Jones standout Jarvis Williams. According to Jones head coach Mike Cullison, his star player is a special talent.
"I think Jarvis is a great one," said Cullison. "He's 6'4, 200 pounds, and he's got a great work ethic. He's such a great athlete.
"Cincinnati actually said he could play football and basketball, he's that good of an athlete.
"He's a very aggressive kid. He'll block, and he's got everything you're looking for in a wide receiver. Barring injury, I really think he's going to make it to the league."
As a senior, Williams tallied 65 catches and nine touchdowns, and with his size he proved to be a valuable weapon in the redzone and vertical passing game.
"He's a big-play kid," said Cullison. "The thing you notice about Jarvis is that when the ball is in the air, it is his. He's built in the mold of Greg Carr out of Florida State. Everytime the ball is in the air, he's going to get it, and I think that's where his basketball background and natural athleticism just takes over."
A two-sport standout for Jones High School, Williams is the school's top basketball player and has received offers from smaller colleges to play hoops. However, he wants to play football and that is where his heart is.
"He's a football player," said Cullison. "Like I said, he'd have the opportunity to play both in college if he wanted to, but he wants to play football. He knows that is where his future is."
Williams is still developing as a football player and has work to do, but his head coach feels he will only get better.
"Well, I think he has to continue to work on his speed," said Cullison. "Right now he's a 4.6 kid, and with his size, frame, and athleticism that is plenty good, but he's going to try and get that in the low 4.5 range."
After earning all-area and all-state honors, Williams garnered several college offers. Rated the No. 25 prospect in the state of Florida by the Orlando Sentinel, he recently narrowed his list to four programs.
"He is fully qualified, and he is being pursued by East Carolina, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, and NC State," said Cullison. "He had some more offers, but he narrowed it down to these four.
"He has already visited East Carolina, Cincinnati, and Wake Forest and he heads up to NC State this weekend."
NC State was the last team to join the mix. Wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon had been following Williams during his senior season but hadn't offered because it seemed unlikely he would qualify. However, after an error in his transcripts was detected and Williams became qualified, the Wolfpack didn't hesitate to try and land a commitment from the coveted wideout.
"Dwayne has always liked him," said Cullison. "When we figured out his grades the first time, they didn't think he would make it. But there was an error with how his GPA was calculated, and now he is qualified.
"Dwayne came down to a game to watch him during the season, and they came over a couple of weeks ago to watch some junior players on film. I showed them some tape of Jarvis, and he showed it to coach Amato. Coach Amato called him a no-brainer, and they offered on the spot."
Williams is expected to make a decision when he returns home from NC State and all four programs are in the mix.
"He's really just a good kid," Cullison said. "He's the type where after every visit he has felt that is the place for him and then by Wednesday he will level off and evaluate all the schools some more.
"For the most part, he doesn't say too much about recruiting though. He's just kind of sitting back and thinking about all of the schools. I think after his NC State visit he's going to talk it over with his mother and come to a decision that Monday or Tuesday."