NCF On The Trail: Andrew Williams

ESPN 300 players announce decisions

February, 5, 2014
Feb 5
7:30
PM ET
The nation's top players announced their college decisions Wednesday. Here's a look at where the ESPN 300 committed:

No. 9 Adoree' Jackson: USC
No. 14 Lorenzo Carter: Georgia
No. 17 Malachi Dupre: LSU
No. 22 Ermon Lane: Florida State
No. 24 John "Juju" Smith: USC
No. 25 Solomon Thomas: Stanford
No. 26 Damian Prince: Maryland
No. 52 Rashaan Evans: Alabama
No. 60 Malik McDowell: Michigan State
No. 67 Damien Mama: USC
No. 75 Michiah Quick: Oklahoma
No. 87 Chris Lammons: South Carolina
No. 120 Wesley Green: South Carolina
No. 127 Braden Smith: Auburn
No. 138 Donte Thomas-Williams: West Virginia
No. 158 Roderick Johnson: Florida State
No. 163 Treon Harris: Florida
No. 164 Travonte Valentine: LSU
No. 174 Andrew Williams: Auburn
No. 179 Dexter Wideman: South Carolina
No. 194 Mattrell McGraw: Oregon
No. 243 Nifae Lealao: Vanderbilt
No. 249 Myles Autry: Georgia Tech
No. 253 Derrick Nnadi: Florida State
No. 264 Poona Ford: Texas
No. 286 Isaiah McKenzie: Georgia

You can watch ESPNU online via WatchESPN.

To see where we think these guys will go, check out the predictions on our Hot Board.

Being the leadoff visit isn’t always a good thing in recruiting. A school and coaching staff can make a good first impression, but those do not last long when a recruit lines up more visits just days before signing day.

But Gus Malzahn and Auburn made a big enough impression on ESPN 300 defensive end Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Christian Landing) the weekend of Jan. 17, and the Tigers staved off late pushes from Clemson and Georgia to land Williams' signature. Williams is No. 174 in the ESPN 300.

Overall, it was an up-and-down signing day for the Tigers, who signed Williams and Braden Smith, but missed on local talent and No. 2 outside linebacker Rashaan Evans.

Want the lowdown on what the top prospects are thinking heading into signing day? Check out where the top 100 stand here. Here’s a look at the rest of the uncommitted ESPN 300:

CB Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King)
Ranking:
No. 120 in ESPN 300
The decision: The former South Carolina commit officially visited Columbia Jan. 17. The Gamecocks are trying to hold off the late charge by Georgia.

[+] EnlargeBraden Smith
Miller Safrit/ESPNAuburn, TCU and Texas A&M are the finalists for OT Braden Smith, the No. 127-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300.
OT Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South)
Ranking:
No. 127 in ESPN 300
Announcement: 8:50am ET on ESPNU
The skinny: The No. 9-ranked guard prospect visited TCU this past weekend and will pick between Auburn, Texas A&M and TCU. Smith’s sister is a member of the TCU track and field team.

RB Donte Thomas-Williams (Durham, N.C./Hillside)
Ranking:
No. 138 in ESPN 300
The decision: West Virginia is considered the heavy favorite for the big back, with NC State fighting hard to keep Thomas-Williams home.

OT Roderick Johnson (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central)
Ranking:
No. 158 in ESPN 300
The decision: Florida State and Ohio State are the final two, with the Seminoles having long been considered the favorite.

DT Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic)
Ranking:
No. 164 in ESPN 300
The decision: The former Louisville, Florida and Miami commit is down to LSU and the Hurricanes.

DE Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian)
Ranking:
No. 174 in ESPN 300
Announcement: 2pm ET on ESPNU
The decision: What looked like an Auburn-Clemson battle has turned into a three-team race after this past weekend’s visit to Georgia.

S Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian)
Ranking:
No. 194 in ESPN 300
Announcement: 10:45am ET on ESPNU
The skinny: McGraw is set to announce between Oregon and Texas A&M. The Ducks are considered the longtime favorite, but the Aggies have made a strong push.

ATH Myles Autry (Norcross, Ga./Norcross)
Ranking:
No. 249 in ESPN 300
Announcement: 3:50pm ET on ESPNU
The skinny: The versatile athlete Autry made official visits to Georgia Tech on Jan. 24 and Florida State this past weekend and will decide between the two. The Yellow Jackets are the favorite unless the Seminoles made a strong push.

DT Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes)
Ranking:
No. 253 in ESPN 300
The decision: Virginia Tech and Florida State have been thrown about as the favorites, but Nnadi did visit Virginia this past weekend. Penn State and Ohio State also received official visits.

DT Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head)
Ranking:
No. 266 in ESPN 300
Announcement: 12:15 p.m. ET on Twitter (#WhereWillPoonaGo) and on ESPNU
The skinny: The former Louisville commit has officially visited Texas and Purdue and was at Missouri this past weekend. The Longhorns were considered the favorite headed into the trip to Missouri, due to the athletic defensive tackle’s relationship with former Louisville and current Longhorns coach Charlie Strong.

ATH Isaiah McKenzie (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage)
Ranking:
No. 286 in ESPN 300
The decision: The Under Armour All-America Game standout visited Virginia Tech this past weekend, and it looks like it will be a decision between Ole Miss and the Hokies. Florida remains in the mix.

LB Kenny Young (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian)
Ranking:
No. 16 ILB
Announcement: 10:39 a.m. ET on ESPNU
The skinny: The inside linebacker made January officials to Texas A&M, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, LSU and UCLA. The Bruins, whom he visited this past weekend, have been the favorite for weeks, but the hometown Tigers and the Aggies have made strong pushes recently.

CB Terrence Alexander (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian)
Ranking:
No. 35 CB
Announcement: 10:35 a.m. ET on ESPNU
The skinny: The three-star corner visited Stanford, Notre Dame and Ole Miss in January and will pick between the trio of programs, with Ole Miss and Notre Dame both trending in recent weeks.

Bold predictions: SEC 

February, 4, 2014
Feb 4
10:30
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With less than 24 hours remaining until the craziness that is national signing day, most recruiting classes are already filled up. There are, however, some key questions that need to be answered. Here’s a look at five bold predictions heading into national signing day.

1. Alabama will lose a commit

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As Auburn prepares for national signing day, the program is in a very different place than it was a year ago. Gus Malzahn has been there a full year, and the Tigers are coming off a loss in the VIZIO BCS National Championship Game. Still, signing day is as important as ever, and Auburn is hoping to carry its momentum from the season to the recruiting trail.

Here are four uncommitted prospects to keep an eye on the next two days:


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
8:00
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This was the final weekend before national signing day, and of course, there was a ton of news around the SEC. Vanderbilt added a slew of commitments, as did Alabama and Texas A&M. There were also some key visits and a decommitment from an SEC West school. Here’s a closer look at the latest recruiting news around the SEC.

Biggest commitments: After suffering 11 decommitments after coach James Franklin left for Penn State, Vanderbilt was in desperate need of a big recruiting weekend, and it finally got it.


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SEC class rankings analysis 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
2:00
PM ET

With one week left until national signing day, 13 of the 14 schools in the SEC have spots in the ESPN class rankings. As expected, Alabama continues to have a stranglehold on the top spot with Texas A&M sitting at No. 2. All told, the conference has four schools ranked in the top five, seven in the top 10 and nine in the top 20.


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Most important targets: SEC 

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
8:00
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video
The Southeastern Conference already has commitments from six of the top 10 players in the country and has a real possibility of landing two more before signing day. With several key targets still remaining, here’s a look at the top remaining targets in the SEC.

Alabama
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover)
6-foot-0, 180 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 15


Humphrey is a big, athletic cornerback with great size and would be a natural fit in Nick Saban's system. FSU is also very much in the picture for the five-star defensive back, but with the Seminoles losing defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to Georgia, the Crimson Tide might have a slight advantage. Alabama will have to fight to keep this dynamic defensive back from leaving the state. With his skill set, Humphrey has a chance to play early in his college career.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

January, 20, 2014
Jan 20
8:00
AM ET

The dead period is over, and this was the first of three official visit weekends remaining before national signing day on Feb. 5. Several top prospects visited SEC schools, there were some commits, and there will be a few announcements this week. Here’s a closer look at the latest recruiting news from around the SEC:

Biggest commits: Georgia is already feeling the effects of new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt on the recruiting trail. The Bulldogs were able to land two ESPN Junior 300 commitments, Rico McGraw (Nashville, Tenn./The Ensworth School) and Terry Godwin (Hogansville, Ga./Callaway), over the weekend.


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SEC class rankings analysis 

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
2:00
PM ET

Another week of the RecruitingNation class rankings, another week with SEC schools dominating the rankings. Thirteen of 14 SEC programs claim spots in the top 40, with only Vanderbilt having slipped out this week following James Franklin leaving the Commodores for Penn State. As has been the case most of this cycle, Alabama is holding down the No. 1 spot nationally. The SEC also has four of the top five classes nationally and seven in the top 10.

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Most important targets: SEC 

January, 8, 2014
Jan 8
9:30
AM ET
The Southeastern Conference already has commitments from five of the top 10 players in the country and a real possibility of landing two more before signing day. With several key targets still remaining, here’s a look at the top remaining targets in the SEC.

Alabama
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover)
6-foot, 180 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 9

Humphrey is a big, athletic cornerback with great size. He would be a natural fit in Nick Saban's system. Florida State is also very much in the picture for the five-star defensive back, and with a national championship in hand, the Seminoles might have the upper hand at the moment. Alabama will have to fight to keep this dynamic defensive back from leaving the state. With his skill set, Humphrey would have a chance to play early on in his career.


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Recruit and return: Clemson Tigers 

January, 4, 2014
Jan 4
12:31
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Under coach Dabo Swinney, Clemson has finally rid itself of the underachievers label that haunted the program for much of the last decade. The program has turned the corner, and the Tigers are putting together the kind of recruiting classes to continually compete for ACC championships. Now Swinney can pitch an Orange Bowl win to recruits in 2014 and beyond, too.


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Recruits watching: Missouri-Auburn 

December, 6, 2013
12/06/13
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All eyes around the college football world will be watching the Auburn-Missouri SEC championship game on Saturday afternoon. There are some recruits, however, who will be paying a little bit closer attention than everyone else. Here’s a look at 10 recruits who have a vested interest in the game this weekend.

DE Dante Sawyer (Suwannee, Ga./North Gwinnett): Missouri, Auburn, Tennessee and South Carolina are schools near the top of Sawyer’s list. Sawyer, No. 91 in the ESPN 300, will be paying close attention to Missouri’s sack leader Michael Sam along with Auburn’s talented freshmen defensive end Carl Lawson. Both schools are looking to make a positive impression on the ninth-ranked defensive end in the country.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
8:00
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As usual, there was a lot of recruiting news around the SEC over the weekend. There were a few commitments and Auburn hosted several visitors for its last-second win over Georgia. Here’s a closer look at some of the top SEC storylines.


Biggest commitment: Mississippi State may have suffered a hard-fought loss to Alabama on Saturday night, but the Bulldogs did get some good news on the recruiting front. ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Tim Washington (Yazoo City, Miss./Yazoo City) verbally committed to Mississippi State late on Saturday night.

Washington is ranked as the 247th-best player in the ESPN Junior 300 and the No. 5-ranked player in the state of Mississippi for the 2015 recruiting cycle.

The Bulldogs were also close to landing their second ESPN Junior 300 member on Saturday. The No. 27 prospect in the country in the Class of 2015, T.D. Moton (Baton Rouge, La./Woodlawn), according to multiple reports, gave a verbal commitment to Mississippi State. However, Moton said Sunday he had not gave his pledge to the Bulldogs.

"I have to weigh my options," Moton said in a text message. "I haven't seen Alabama, Ole Miss or Florida State, so I'm taking my time. I haven't talked to coach [Dan] Mullen yet, either. But Mississippi State is one of my favorites."

Moton also holds offers from LSU, Georgia, Florida State, Notre Dame and many other schools. He is the sixth-rated defensive tackle in the 2015 class and the No. 2 prospect in Louisiana next year.


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Recruits will be watching: UGA-AU 

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
9:00
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When Auburn takes on SEC East opponent Georgia on Saturday afternoon, there will be plenty of top recruits either in attendance or watching on television. Auburn is trying to capitalize on its 9-1 record by bringing in several recruits, both for 2014 and 2015. Here’s a closer look at who will be paying close attention to this game.

1. WR Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman): The No. 61 prospect in the country will be taking an official visit to Auburn this weekend. Rudolph mentioned Auburn early in his recruitment, but he hasn’t said much about the Tigers until he announced he will be visiting there this weekend. Rudolph likes FSU and with losses starting to mount for other in-state programs Florida and Miami, Auburn is trying to get back in the picture for this talented wideout.

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