Monday, January 14, 2013
Ga. ATH Juwaan Williams down to three
By Brandon P. Oliver
Three of the fastest rising programs in the country are in the midst of a battle for one of the most dynamic players in the state of Georgia.
All three of the finalists for ATH Juwaan Williams (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) have managed to keep their head coaches despite having to hold their breath while they were courted by other programs and the NFL.
"It was great to hear that Chip Kelly was coming back [to Oregon]. Everything there is so great, I think he made a great choice," Williams said. "When I heard about coach [Brian] Kelly at Notre Dame, there were some tense moments. I was glad to see he was coming back to Notre Dame. I don't think either one would have changed anything for me, but it is nice to know who the head coach will be."
Oregon is still on the upswing but it has become a fixture in the top 10 with four straight BCS Bowl appearances. Vanderbilt -- the third finalist for Williams -- is pursuing Williams the same way the Ducks are. Both schools want Williams to come in and compete for a spot on both sides of the ball. They don't care where he plays, they just want him on the field.
While Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin wasn't interviewing for NFL jobs, he was a target of other college programs. His remarkable run in Nashville looks like it will continue after he ignored overtures from more established programs to remain with the Commodores.
Williams -- the No. 108 ATH in the country -- is set for his final official visit, which will come when he visits Vanderbilt this weekend. After the visit, Williams plans to take his time before announcing his final decision on Jan. 28.
"I'm really excited to get up there. I leave Friday night and I'll be there by Saturday morning," Williams said. "It will be good to get there for an official visit. Coach [Bob] Shoop came by last week and discussed everything with me. He said he's being selfish because he wants me to play safety instead of playing on offense. It's nice to have a coach want to coach you like that."
Williams' recruitment to Oregon handled by Ducks DB coach John Neal, who will be in Georgia today to touch base with one of the their top remaining targets.
"Coach Neal is coming by to check in with me and see how everything is going," Williams said. "It's always good to talk with him because he is a great guy and a great coach. I love everything about Oregon and he is one of the reasons why."