Besides WSU, Williams holds offers from UNLV and Texas Christian, and Oregon told him one is forthcoming when they can make it in person.
Williams said Kent and WSU have been recruiting him since December, and that Kent and assistant coach Silvey Dominguez were on campus at Arizona Western College yesterday to formally make the offer. While his recruiting ties with Oregon go back to his days in Alaska at South Anchorage High, and he still holds the Ducks in high regard, WSU and TCU are his leaders right now, he added.
"I’ve been talking to Washington State every day and staying up with them," said the 6-7, 215-pound high flyer who can be found on YouTube dunking with abandon. "I’m surprised with the consistency of Coach Dominguez and Ernie Kent. They’re great recruiters … they’ve made this process so easy, they respected my decision to explore all my options before making a commitment and I really respect Coach Ernie for that.”
Williams is the third-known Arizona JC power forward WSU has offered in 2017. According to verbalcommits.com, the Cougars offered Pima CC's Deion James earlier this month and South Mountain CC's James Sosinski in January. James tweeted a final five this week that didn't include the Cougars. We're hoping to have an update soon on Sosinski, a former UMass quarterback who averaged 19.1 points and 12.6 rebounds per game en route to all-region honors this season at SMCC.
Williams said Kent offered him because of his athleticism, toughness and work ethic.
“He just pretty much told me they don’t have that 3-4 who is athletic and brings the toughness and energy to the floor every time," Williams said. "They wanted me to come in an immediately make an impact in rebounds as well as scoring … He told me he needs me to get in there and get them over the hump, so they can be at the top of the Pac-12 rather than in the middle … that they’re doing pretty good with some top guards coming back.”
Williams sat out the current hoops season to focus on academics and it paid off.
“I finished with a 3.5 last semester on 22 credits. It was a busy time for me … so now everybody is last-minute scrambling for me (laughs). I’ve been passed up on by multiple high majors and I’d rather play against them than play with them … it makes a difference for a coach to reach out to you and go for the ‘underdogger’,” said Williams.
A year ago, as a true freshman, Williams played at Pima Community College. He averaged 18 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in 22 contests, shooting 55.2 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from 3-point land. He transferred to Arizona Western for the current school year.
“I think he’s a great coach," Williams said when asked about his connection with Kent. "He’s told me about the things he’s been through, his life story. He’s a very motivational guy … He’s at a point in his career where he already built St. Mary’s and went to Oregon, he’s not trying to prove anything but instead I feel is really trying to help his players. I respect him for that … That’s a big deal. Some coaches are trying to prove how well they can coach but Coach Ernie knows how good he is, he’s not trying to prove it to anybody."
Williams hasn’t nailed down his official visits yet but they will come in a compressed time frame. Williams said he plans to announce his decision and sign with a school as early as April 12, the first day LOIs can be signed.
“I need to be here for my classes and don’t want to take any time off of school so we have to plan on the right weekends,” said Williams, who will have 3-to-play-3. “I had a bunch of high majors who had to back off because I wasn’t eligible then. I probably won’t make a (verbal) I’ll just go ahead and sign my LOI on Signing Day.”
Click here for a complete list of known WSU prospects in the current recruiting cycle. The Cougars signed center Davante Cooper and shooting guard Kwinton Hinson in the early signing period in November and have three slots open for the regular signing period (April 12-May 17). Look for two of those three open spots to go to power forward/center types.