- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
ESPNU 150 Watch List running back David Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) made his second visit to the in-state Nittany Lions this past weekend, and this trip was much more in-depth than his first.
Williams’ trekked to Penn State for its junior day in late February, but with so many prospects on campus Williams did not feel the same kind of love from Bill O’Brien and the new staff as he did Saturday.
“The first trip was a junior day so it was kind of hard for the coaches to make it about me because other kids were there,” Williams said. “This time was a lot different. All the attention was on me.”
A 6-foot-1, 183-pound back with legitimate 4.4 speed, Williams said Penn State is telling him that he is its top target at the position. Not only is he the top running back on the Lions’ board, but he also the top back in the state.
“The coaches kept saying I’m their guy,” he said. “They want to bring back the tradition of Penn State keeping all the Pa. players there.”
Coming from the NFL’s Patriots, O’Brien has the tag of being a spread offense, pass-heavy play-caller. It remains to be seen exactly what type of offense O’Brien will run once he strolls the sideline at Beaver Stadium for the first time, but Williams is not afraid of playing in O’Brien’s offense.
Williams’ goal is to make it to the NFL, and to make it to that level he knows he will have to be a complete back.
“I like the offense because it isn’t just running the ball every play,” he said. “It gets you ready for the NFL. It prepares you for blocking, pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield.”
Penn State’s best recruiters did not come in the form of coaches, though. Penn State commitments Adam Breneman, Ross Douglas and Christian Hackenberg kept working Williams all weekend to join them in the Lions’ 2013 class.
O’Brien did not push for a commitment from Williams, however.
“They wanted me to commit, but they said there’s no pressure and want me and my family to talk about it and if we have to come back again [to visit] they’re willing to do that,” Williams said.
Wisconsin will likely receive Williams’ next visit when he travels to Madison on April 14. A visit to West Virginia could also come sometime over the next few weeks whenever he has an open weekend, and he is planning visits to Ohio State and South Carolina in the near future as well. No dates have been set for those three visits.
He lists no favorites.
Williams will play at Imhotep Charter as a senior instead of West Catholic. It was announced during the winter West Catholic would be closing before a fundraising effort saved the school. However, many of West Catholic's players have already transferred, and Williams followed suit.