NCF On The Trail: David Williams

Critical positions in Pac-12 recruiting 

September, 3, 2013

Recruiting for the 2014 class bumped up another notch this past Sunday, when college coaches could begin making their one phone call per week to high school seniors. Today, we take a look at what position group those Pac-12 coaches might consider their most important position to add talent with this class.

David Williams (Los Angeles/Dorsey) has been so active on the 7-on-7 circuit this spring that he's looking to slow things down two days before the official start of summer.

Fortunately for him, he put in one final outing this week, as he participated in a Colorado camp yesterday and was told to call head coach Mike MacIntyre this morning, when he collected an offer from the Buffaloes. It's the first Pac-12 offers for Williams, who adds it to offers from Hawaii, Idaho and Yale.

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B2G Invitational: RN Top 10 

April, 15, 2013
With 16 of California’s top 7-on-7 teams on hand for the inaugural B2G 7v7 Elite 16 tournament over the weekend, there were dozens of big-time performances turned in, by well-known and previously unknown recruits alike. As always, choosing just 10 standout performances from the weekend was a challenging task, but here are the players, including a bonus selection, who made the cut.

10. London Iakopo
Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei |S| 6-foot, 195 pounds

Iakopo had never played cornerback at any level of competition before Saturday, so naturally he slid into the spot and put together one of the best performances of any player over the weekend. He was terrific on Saturday and saved his best play for Sunday, when he stepped in front of a pass and recorded an interception in the semifinals, helping his Elite760 A team to the championship game.

Elite760 coach Fale Poumele could only shake his head when discussing the fact that it was Iakopo’s first time at cornerback.

“He’s just so athletic; you can put him anywhere on the field and he’ll react,” Poumele said. “He’s quick out of his breaks, so when he makes a decision he’s ready to go on it, and that’s how he got that interception. He’s just a straight football player, has a nose for the ball.”

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The first ever B2G 7v7 Elite 16 Tournament went off without a hitch this weekend, as 16 of the top passing league teams in California took to Fullerton (Calif.) College for a two-day event. While the B2G Five Star team left an impression as the tournament champions -- marking the first B2G tournament win of the spring -- there were several other notable occurrences during the weekend.

From first time to first-class

It might have been B2G Sports' first ever 7-on-7 passing tournament, but the event was far from an amateur operation.

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The first Nike Football Training Camp of 2013 will take place this Sunday at Redondo Beach (Calif.) Redondo Union. The elite players in the West region will take part in what is unquestionably the biggest and most prestigious camp of the offseason. Heading into Sunday’s event, there are several storylines that will be worth watching as top recruits will be put to the test in individual, one-on-one and team situations.

Who gets the first invitations to The Opening?
The first Nike camp of the spring means the first invitations to The Opening will be handed out. Last year, five recruits earned invitations immediately following the Los Angeles Nike camp. This year, is there a chance that with the talent scheduled to be on hand, the number could double? Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra) won the linebacker MVP award at this camp last year and has his sights set on the ultimate prize.

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Williams has plenty of Pac-12 interest 

February, 13, 2013
Los Angeles Dorsey is no stranger to producing FBS talent, and in the 2014 recruiting class, the Dons could have one of the top safeties in the state in David Williams.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound safety is hearing from Pac-12 programs Arizona State, Colorado, Washington and Washington State the most at this point, and plans to take a closer look at each during the offseason.

This past weekend, Williams took an official visit to Washington for the Huskies' junior day.

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South Carolina gets another ESPN 150 RB 

January, 4, 2013
Fun and gun? How about ground and pound.

Steve Spurrier was known for airing it out with top-flight quarterbacks while at Florida, but he has been piling up the ESPN 150 running backs while at South Carolina.

The Gamecocks added ESPN 150 running back David Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) on Friday, and Williams is the third running back in the ESPN 150 the Gamecocks will sign in the last four classes.

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CARSON, Calif. -- South Carolina added a headliner to its 2013 recruiting class on Friday, as running back David Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) announced his commitment to the Gamecocks during the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

"From the beginning of process, they've been there strong," Williams said of the Gamecocks. "Coach [Steve] Spurrier showed me a lot of interest."

The ESPN 150's No. 124 player becomes the top recruit in South Carolina’s class and will look to fill the role vacated by Marcus Lattimore’s early departure for the NFL draft.

"I think I'll fit in perfectly," Williams said of South Carolina's offense. "I'll come in and have an opportunity to play early."

Williams, 6-foot-1 and 192 pounds, is one of the more sough-after backs in the Northeast, as the four-star tailback held offers from a number of prominent programs, including Auburn, California, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He eventually whittled his list to Arizona State, Penn State and South Carolina and took official visits to see the Sun Devils and Gamecocks before settling on Steve Spurrier’s program.

He is commitment No. 20 for South Carolina’s 17th-ranked recruiting class. He is the second ESPN 150 commitment and fourth ESPN 300 commitment for the Gamecocks. Williams put together a tremendous senior season for the Panthers, as he led them to an undefeated regular season and a 14-1 record overall. Williams rushed 195 times for 1,904 yards and 23 touchdowns, including two touchdown runs of more than 90 yards.

With Williams’ commitment, only three of the country’s top 15 running backs remain uncommitted.
The 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl should offer plenty of intrigue on the field when it kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. PT from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. With some of the top players from across the country in attendance, recruiting fans will have plenty to keep their eyes on over the course of the game.

West quarterbacks vs. East quarterbacks

In all-star games, the quarterback position almost always receives the most attention, and with it, either praise or scrutiny. This year, the position offers some interesting regional twists, with bragging rights on the line. For the West team, representing the Pac-12 will be Jared Goff (Kentfield, Calif./Marin Catholic) and Anu Solomon (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), committed to Cal and Arizona, respectively. For the East team, and headed to the SEC, are Austin Allen (Fayetteville, Ark./Fayettevills) and Eddie Printz (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter). Allen is headed to Arkansas, with Printz committed to Missouri. Giving the Midwest fans something to watch are Notre Dame quarterback commitment Malik Zaire (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter), playing for the East squad, and Northwestern commit Matt Alviti (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine Township), who will suit up for the West.

[+] EnlargeMalik Zaire
Erik McKinney/ESPN Quarterbacks are all the rage at all-star games and Notre Dame commit Malik Zaire will have a lot of eyes on him Friday at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
West S Hatari Byrd vs. East WR Jordan Smallwood

Oklahoma fans could have a chance to see two future Sooners square off as Byrd (Fresno, Calif./Central) and Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) could see plenty of each other over the middle on Friday. Adding to the matchup, both Byrd and Smallwood have been terrific during practices this week, each vying for top honors at their respective positions for each of their teams. This will likely be the first of many times these two get a chance to go at each other over the next few years.

West CB Cole Luke vs. East WR William Fuller

Another matchup of future teammates will take place, as Luke (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) and Fuller (Philadelphia/Roman Catholic) will both head to Notre Dame next fall. This Notre Dame recruiting class is very close, and Luke is certainly aware that of the five Fighting Irish verbal commits at this game, he is the only one on the West roster. He’ll want to prove himself against Fuller, who was terrific during practices for the East team.

Washington defensive line commits vs. East offensive line

LSU defensive tackle Christian LaCouture (Lincoln, Neb./Southwest) deserves credit for his performances during practice, but Washington commitments Elijah Qualls (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) and Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) were nearly unblockable all week for the West team. They’ll have a chance to prove themselves when they go up against an East team that had some of its own issues during practices. One matchup of particular interest could be if Hall finds himself set against Notre Dame offensive tackle commit Mike McGlinchey (Philadelphia/William Penn Charter), who was the standout lineman all week for the East.

Pac-12 vs. the country

Players headed to the Pac-12 have a chance to make a strong statement in this game. Not only will the conference likely land two of the players scheduled to announce during the contest, the West team is littered with players headed to the Pac-12, and could be led by a trio of Oregon commitments, in wide receivers Darren Carrington Jr. (San Diego/Horizon) and twins Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln). The offensive line features five Pac-12 verbal commitments, while only one wide receiver on the roster--Texas A&M commit Jeremy Tabuyo (Honolulu/St. Louis)--is likely to play his college football outside the conference.

[+] EnlargeChristian LaCouture
Brandon Oliver/ESPNAs solid as LSU DT commit Christian LaCouture is, he has had a hard time blocking the West offensive lineman at Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl practice.
Announcements to be made during Friday's game

• WR John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan) -- The playmaking receiver has been quiet all year when it comes to recruiting. His recruitment has been a three-team race from the get-go. In reality, the Washington Huskies have always been the one team thought of as the front-runner due to the four-star's ties to the program. Oregon and UCLA have been in the mix and even rumored to be his leader at some point. The dynamic Ross will make his college decision between the three Pac-12 programs during the game on Friday.

• TE Thomas Duarte (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) -- The 6-foot-3, 220-pound TE-Y could play WR, TE, H-Back, LB or DE on the next level but he is best as a big weapon in the slot. His is under-sized as a TE, but athletic enough to play WR in any system. Like Ross, he too was awfully quiet throughout his recruitment. Also like Ross, Duarte is down to Oregon, UCLA and Washington, with Notre Dame also in the mix for the versatile four-star. Most believe it is down to UCLA and Oregon. If that's the case, it means that the unofficial visit he took to Oregon as a junior either resonated so well that he doesn't need to go back for an official visit...or that he is all UCLA.

• RB David Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) -- The talented running back will announce his choice between Arizona State, Penn State and South Carolina. The country’s No. 124 player would be a big addition to the Nittany Lions, but strong pushes from the out of state schools have made Williams’ recruitment an interesting one. At 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, Williams can do it all as a tailback and has a chance to be a featured back in any offense. At this point, it is thought that the Gamecocks have the edge.

Updates from Junior Rank 2013 Proving Ground Combine

• Cornerback Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) was happy to be back on the football field for the first time since his team was eliminated from the playoffs, as the 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback took to the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Thursday for the Junior Rank 2013 Proving Ground Combine.

Hale arrived late to the event, so he didn’t run the 40-yard dash, but said he did well in the broad jump and the shuttle.

“It was just good to get out there,” Hale said. “I hadn’t been out on the field in a while, so that felt food.”

Hale was joined by teammates Jaleel Wadood and Shay Fields Jr., and that trio will bring plenty of college coaches out to St. John Bosco this spring. Schools have already been in touch with the standout junior, although none have extended offers thus far.

“I’ve been getting connected with Washington and Northwestern -- just trying to stay connected,” Hale said. “I’ve talked to Utah also. They said they love my film.”

Hale said Oregon and UCLA have been in contact as well, and that he receives e-mails from the Ducks almost daily.

“Washington wants me to come to their junior day in February,” Hale said. “A lot of schools have said they’re going to start picking things up after the 2013 class is over. After that, I’m just ready for it to start.”

• 2015 offensive guard Jake Grant (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) will stay in a hotel after performing at the combine on Thursday. It might be a good idea for him to get used to ordering room service, as the 6-foot-3, 260-pound big man will be on the road plenty over the next few months.

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ESPN 150 RB Williams ready to decide 

December, 23, 2012
Philadelphia Imhotep Charter running back David Williams is leaving the Mid-Atlantic.

The ESPN 150 prospect will announce his commitment on Jan. 4 at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Los Angeles.

“Me and my family talked about it after the recruiting period stopped and thought it’d be good,” Williams said.

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Spurrier visits ESPN 150 RB David Williams 

December, 11, 2012
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier made his in-home visit with David Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) on Tuesday, and it only strengthened the Gamecocks’ lead for the ESPN 150 running back.

Spurrier was joined by area recruiter G.A. Mangus and running backs coach Everette Sands on the visit to the school and then later Williams’ home.

“It went well. My mom and them hit it off,” Williams said. “There was no awkwardness. Everyone was on the same page.”

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ESPN 150 RB David Williams names top 3 

December, 8, 2012
GERMANTOWN, Pa. -- ESPN 150 tailback David Williams said Saturday afternoon he trimmed his list to three schools: Arizona State, Ohio State and South Carolina.

Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) isn't sure when he might make a decision, but he said it would likely come near signing day. He wants to see each school on an official visit and then talk a potential commitment over with his family.

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PSU could get visit from David Williams 

December, 4, 2012
David WilliamsScott Fink/ESPNHSDavid Williams said he is waiting until his season is complete before going on any recruiting visits.
First-year program Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia) is in the semifinals of the state championships, and the program is riding ESPN 150 running back David Williams to an undefeated season.

Colleges are coming through Philadelphia daily to meet with Williams, and Arizona State, Miami (Fla.), Penn State and South Carolina have all either come by the school or will be visiting this week, Williams said.

Penn State running backs coach Charles London met with Williams on Tuesday at the school and also had a chance to speak with his mother.

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David Williams cancels Vols official visit 

November, 18, 2012
The Tennessee commitments are not the only prospects waiting to see what happens with the Volunteers coaching situation in the wake of Derek Dooley's dismissal.

[+] EnlargeDavid Williams
Courtesy of West Catholic High SchoolESPN 150 running back David Williams cancelled his visit to Tennessee and hopes to visit Ohio State.
Philadelphia Imhotep Charter running back David Williams told he has canceled his official visit to Tennessee. Williams, No. 124 in the ESPN 150 and No. 13 at his position, was scheduled to take an official visit to Tennessee on Nov. 23.

Williams unofficially visited Rocky Top earlier this year and had the Vols among his favorites. Williams would like to visit Ohio State officially for the Michigan game this weekend, but he has yet to talk to the Buckeyes' coaching staff.

Arizona State, which already received an official visit, Nebraska and South Carolina are among the favorites for Williams.

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Imhotep Charter housing top Philly talent 

October, 22, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- Imhotep Charter did not field a football team last season. It might be the best program in the city in 2012.

Under former West Catholic assistant Al Crosby, Imhotep Charter has reeled in some of Philadelphia’s best player, including ESPN 150 running back David Williams who has dozens of offers.

The talent does not stop there, however. The roster boasts Division I players in several grades, and Crosby, who won a state championship at West Catholic, has coached them to an undefeated start.

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