Coconut Creek (FL) cornerback Marquis Williams regrettably could not attend Wisconsin’s regular season home finale against Minnesota. But even through the 5-9 cornerback didn’t get the full experience, the little sliver he got was tremendously beneficial.
“My day went great,” Williams told BadgerNation. “I started it off with seeing the big facilities Wisconsin had to offer. I saw a lot of the school, because you have to be a student first before you can be an athlete. We talked a lot about school, and that really made my day because without school you can’t do anything.”
A number of Florida cornerbacks have committed to Wisconsin and thrived on the Badgers’ defense, junior Derrick Tindal being the latest example, so Williams always paid attention to the Wisconsin program and its defense. He became more interested when defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard visited Williams’ school and the pair hit it off.
“We built a bond just that quick,” Williams said. “He didn’t sugarcoat nothing, he kept it real and kept it solid. We text mostly every week or every other week. We try to stay in touch. He’s loyal and he knows the game from playing in the League for 10 years and coming back to coach up players he wants to get to another level. I love Jim Leonhard.”
Finishing up preparations for Saturday’s game against Minnesota, head coach Paul Chryst took time from his schedule to meet with Williams. According to Williams, Chryst gave the cornerback’s film high marks and made a solid impression.
“I asked him one question, what do you like about my film?” Williams said. “He said he could see the dog in me, that I loved the game of football and that I’m a solid player. He said everything he saw in film I could do at Wisconsin.”
Williams is the nephew of Tyrone Carter, a Super Bowl champion and former All-American that captured the Jim Thorpe Award during his time in the Twin Cities. Williams visited Minnesota last week and says it’s hard to compare the two schools to each other.
“They are big rivals and every time they play each other it’s going to be a tough game,” Williams said. “I can’t really compare them because they are two totally different schools from what I think of them.”
The Gophers are one of many power-five offers for Williams, including Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina State, Penn State and others.
Williams said his next visit is to Penn State but the junior has no plans to make an early commitment, simply saying he’s enjoying the process. Saying the Nittany Lions were his number one earlier this month, Williams’ visit to Wisconsin left an impression.
“(Wisconsin) was awesome,” Williams said. “Wisconsin showed me a whole different environment. No college I went to showed me as much love as Wisconsin did or loyalty. They were all about school. School was first with them. It was a blessing to see, to go up to Madison, Wisconsin, to see the coaches, the environment, the stadium, the players. It was great.”