Hurdles Cleared

It's been one hurdle after another for this Coolidge High School star, but he's finally ready to begin his college career.

Avery Williams, who first committed to Utah before switching to West Virginia in late January of 2010, has battled eligibility issues for almost a year, but he finally has everything in order, and is ready to enroll at West Virginia when classes begin on Monday. The multi-talented athlete, who expects to begin his career as a cornerback at WVU, said he never wavered on his pledge to the Mountaineers.

"My family said they saw some reports that I had decommitted, but they weren't true," said Williams, who was readying himself for the trip to WVU's campus this weekend. I always stuck with West Virginia. I wasn't able to contact people at one point when my phone wasn't working, and I lost all of my information on it when I dropped it, but I stuck with them.

"I've talked with Coach Stewart, and he said he's happy that I got everything done and that I'm here."

Williams, who graduated in the spring of 2010, was just a few points short on his SAT, but didn't want to go through a year of prep school or worse, attend a junior college, to attain his eligibility.

"I had to get that score in order to be eligible., and I was very close in points. I talked to [former running backs coach Chris] Beatty, and he encouraged me to study and get the score rather than taking more time to get a juco degree. I got the points in the fall, but by the time time I did the season had already started. Then, I had another Clearinghouse situation, and by the time I got that all corrected it was too late to play this year."

Issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse aren't uncommon, and while many are procedural matters, they can take time to straighten out. By the time Williams' issues were resolved, it would have been something of a lost year in terms of eligibility, so he waited until the upcoming semester to enroll.

While studying and working to achieve his SAT scores, Williams didn't ignore the physical side of the game. He trained with Joe Haden, Sr., the father of current Cleveland Brown defensive back Joe Haden, Jr., and did everything he could to maintain his conditioning.

"I don't worry about missing that time playing," he said confidently. "I have been playing since I was five, and I know how to work. I missed a season once before, and when I came back I ran for 300 yards in my first game, and had 800 yards after three games. If I wasn't working out, it might worry me a little bit, but I have been working hard."

The multi-talented Williams (5-10, 180 lbs.) has excelled as a wide receiver, running back and defensive back, but expects to begin his WVU career as a corner.

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