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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Sharif Williams collects his first offer

By Erik McKinney

With so much film of Fresno (Calif.) Central athletes floating around in front of college coaches, two-way lineman Sharif Williams wasn't going to go unoffered much longer.

Running back and teammate Nick Wilson committed to Arizona last month and the Wildcats coaches showed on Tuesday that they studied Wilson's tape extensively, as they extended an offer to one of the guys responsible for opening all those holes.

"I'm really relieved and very excited," Williams said. "They say once you get the first one, they usually start coming in.

"The conversation went well. My running back committed there, so that's how I got onto their radar. They saw me blocking for him and they liked me and offered me."

Williams hasn't yet been to Arizona, but plans to attend the Wildcats' spring game along with Wilson. As for what position the Wildcats coaches see him playing, the 6-foot-2, 298-pound lineman said that is still up in the air.

"They said that I can pretty much pick," Williams said. "They like me on both sides and they need linemen. I can get in where I fit, but I'm happy to play either. Wherever they need me to play is fine with me."

With the offer, Arizona takes a big leap up Williams' list -- not just because it is the first to offer, but because Wilson, one of his best friends, is headed there. It's the same reason that USC, where good friend and teammate Tashon Smallwood is committed, holds a spot high on Williams' list.

"I like the idea of going somewhere with a friend, but eventually I'm going to go wherever the best fit is for me," Williams said.

Williams will have plenty of chances to prove himself for college coaches this spring, as Central is a must-stop in California. Along with Williams, Wilson and Smallwood, ESPN 150 athlete Michiah Quick is there, as well as cornerback Devon Brewer.

He said California was on campus on Tuesday and USC will be by later today as well. The Golden Bears are showing increasing interest and invited him to their summer camp in June.

Williams said he and Smallwood, a defensive tackle, enjoy being big men getting recruited out of Central, which has become synonymous with skill-position players over the past few years.

"We feel really prideful being linemen here," Williams said. "It's usually always a receiver or a skill guy. We haven't had a lineman come out in years, so we're happy about having both of us coming out together in the same year."