Thursday, April 4, 2013
Top LB Williams still waiting for USC offer
By Blair Angulo
Last fall, ESPN Watch List linebacker Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra) would have strongly considered committing to USC on the spot if he were to land a scholarship offer. He had plenty of other options, but Williams was a frequent visitor at Trojans home games throughout the season and USC had always been the program he had his eyes on.
Fast-forward a few months and USC has yet to extend an offer to arguably one of the top prospects in the area. Now Williams, the two-time linebacker MVP at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp, is thoroughly feeling out the process. His mindset has changed completely as schools from all corners of the country have turned up their pursuit.
Dwight Williams was the linebacker MVP and received an Opening invite at the Los Angeles NFTC.
Williams attended USC’s scrimmage last weekend at the Memorial Coliseum along with teammate Adoree’ Jackson, visiting campus for the first time since the school’s junior day event in late February.
“It was cool,” Williams said. “I liked the end when the offense and defense moved down to the red zone and guys got fired up. The defense stopped them three times in the red zone and everyone went crazy. It was a great opportunity to see things first hand. It’s better to be there. You get a better feel for it.”
And at the request of new linebackers coach Mike Ekeler, Williams got a close look at all the action.
“When they talk to me, they say they really, really, really, really like me a lot,” Williams said. “The linebackers coach, Ekeler, told me to stay by his hip, not to leave his side. So I was literally in the drills and he was teaching me the plays. He was telling me he wanted to suit me up and throw me out there. So I think they really like me, but I don’t know what is going on with the offer process.”
Williams also had a lengthy conversation with assistant coach Ed Orgeron, who assured him an assessment during the upcoming spring evaluation period could finally mean good news.
“He was basically saying the same thing: They like me a lot,” Williams said. “But he said to be patient and that it’s all coming.”
USC offered a handful of prospects this week, including in-state defensive backs Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito), an ESPN Watch List member, and Iman Marshall (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), arguably the top player on the West Coast in the 2015 class. Assistant coach Tee Martin also offered two prospects from Florida, while Ekeler called a few athletes from the Midwest to do the same.
The Trojans also offered a group of visitors during junior day and, before that, had sent out an offer to Jackson.
Williams was initially bothered by all the activity – which played out on his Twitter feed the last few months – but now he’s content.
“At first, it was frustrating,” Williams said. “Every time I would look up, I’d see someone else getting a new offer. Whether it was from the South or even on the West Coast now. But it doesn’t even matter anymore. I’m really not focused on getting the offer. I know they like me, but I have a lot of other options and I’m looking into those. I’m just staying focused on my schoolwork right now.”
Michigan, Oklahoma, Clemson, UCLA, Oregon State, Georgia and Washington are the schools pushing the hardest, Williams said. He has also been in contact with Florida and is scheduled to swing by UCLA on Saturday to check out the Bruins’ spring practice.
With more than 30 offers on his list, Williams no longer anticipates an early decision.