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Author Topic: Tight end could make surprising choice of Clemson  (Read 1313 times)

Offline Clemson Girl

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Tight end could make surprising choice of Clemson
« on: May 19, 2014, 01:09:56 AM »
Tight end could make surprising choice of Clemson
Michael Burns, The Greenville News 6:49 p.m. EDT May 16, 2014

Garrett Williams says he's gone to about every home game at Florida State, where his father played, since he was a child. But by next week he could be bound to play at Clemson.
If it comes down to it, picking Clemson over Florida State – the team he grew up cheering, the team where his father played – Garrett Williams says he could do it.

And he says he just might.

Already he has a good idea of which college football program he'll choose. It's down to Florida State, Clemson, Stanford and Auburn.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound four-star prospect from The First Academy in Orlando, Fla., rated the No. 2 tight end-H-back in the nation by ESPN, expects to reveal his choice next week.

"It's more stressful now than it was in the beginning when I was open to all schools," Williams said. "Now I'm having to tell schools no, and I'm not meeting with many schools that come to see me at my school or anything. I just try to tell them I've narrowed my list already. It's stressful, and I don't really like having to do that, but it has to be done."

And pretty soon he'll have to say no to all schools but one.

Clemson recruiting class ranks among nation's best

Any choice other than the Florida State Seminoles may represent an upset. His father, Dayne, played fullback at Florida State in the late 1980s while Clemson administrator Brad Scott was an assistant on Bobby Bowden's teams and Clemson recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott was a child hanging around practices.

"I've grown up around Florida State my whole life," Williams said. "I've been to almost every home game since I was like 4 or 5. I'm very familiar with the area and the tradition, the football program and the school.

"Coach (Jimbo) Fisher runs an incredible program, and he has a great staff behind him. They're going to be really good for years to come. They've got good recruiting classes coming in, and they're upgrading their facilities. It's definitely a top-notch program."

His Seminoles recruiter, Rick Trickett, visited one of his practices last week, and Williams visited FSU March 1.

He visited Clemson a few weeks earlier. He's participated in coach Dabo Swinney's camps the last two summers, and he took in the Tigers' season opener against Georgia last year.

"I love Clemson," Williams said. "I love the coaching staff, love Coach Swinney. All of his staff are incredible men and incredible coaches as well. Coach (Jeff) Scott, Coach (Chad) Morris and Coach (Danny) Pearman and Coach Swinney are who I've had the most contact with, and I've really loved getting to know them as men.

"I really like the way that they would use me, as a versatile H-back-tight-end guy; they call it their 3-back. That's a role that's real intriguing to me. It would definitely stretch me and make me learn and be better than I am right now. Also, I love the school. It has really good academics. I love the area of South Carolina it's in. I love the faith community on campus."

But even at this late date, he's not ruling out Stanford, which impressed him on a visit last month, or Auburn – at least not publicly. He's considering majoring in engineering.

"Stanford is a great school and a great program," Williams said. "They're right up there with Harvard and Yale and Princeton and all those Ivy League schools. It's an incredible education. Their football program has come on strong under the leadership of Coach (David) Shaw and before that Coach (Jim) Harbaugh. The way they would use me I also like. They run more of a pro-style offense than Clemson does, and I'd be playing more like the fullback-H-back type, but I feel like that could translate well to what I potentially could do in the NFL. So football-wise and academic-wise, it's stellar out at Stanford. The coaches are great guys and great coaches. I really loved my visit out there. It's a beautiful part of the country. There are a lot of benefits to Stanford."

And he said there are benefits to Auburn, too.

"I love Coach (Gus) Malzahn," Williams said. "Just like all the other programs he has a great staff under him, and he's an incredible man. He leads his team in an upright way, and he does things the right way morally. He's a really good coach. He's a great leader. Auburn has an incredible tradition. It's a great school, great atmosphere and a really good campus."

But most observers expect Williams' choice to come down to Florida State or Clemson.

He said his father has helped and not tried to sway him any way.

"My dad has been just as open as I have about the whole recruiting process, and he hasn't pressured me one way or the other," Williams said. "He's stated the facts to me, and he's even given me his opinion. He's really helped me narrow down my schools to these top four, and he's taken me on all my visits. We've talked over all the aspects of each college. He's given me a lot of insight on his college career, the positives and negatives of his career. He's been an incredible mentor."

Now the time is approaching for the son to make his own mark in college football, and he could end up doing something that he wouldn't have believed at one time when the Tigers play the Seminoles in years ahead: wear orange.

"I would've never imagined that I would've been considering Clemson to go play college football when it was always my dream to go to Florida State," Williams said. "It's an incredible recruiting process. They are rivals. They have to go through each other each year. No matter which one I choose I'd have to play the other one every year to be able to advance and win the conference.

"If I committed to Clemson, I would be all in with Clemson and then Florida State would be my rival, my opponent. If that's what I decide, I could do that," Williams said. "Since February kind of internally I have gone back and forth. Some days I'm thinking about one school, and the next day I'm thinking about another. I've just tried to take emotions out of it and really just look at facts, really pray about it really hard and see where God wants me, where he's leading me. You can't go wrong with following his will. That's what I've really been trying to do since February.

"I have an idea. I'm still trying to pray about it and make sure that's what God wants me to do and stuff. I'm getting close."

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« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 01:15:52 AM by ClemsonTiger »


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