September 22, 2009

High-flying receiver has plenty of options

There may not be a more under the radar prospect in the country than Slidell, La. wide receiver Armand Williams. At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds Williams is an athlete to say the least. He has a 40-plus inch vertical, runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, has a standing broad jump of close to 12 feet and is a dunking machine on the basketball court.

Though he is not a name that is thrown around with the top wide receivers in the southeast, Williams is not an unknown to college coaches. He has a long list of written offers that includes the likes of Syracuse, Mississippi State, Texas A&m, Missouri, Kansas State and Northwestern.

Williams is already making an impact three games into his senior football season, though he is still looking for more.

"I can do better but I've scored in every game and had well over 70 yards but I feel like I can do better," Williams said. "I've had a lot of press coverage and double teams in the John Ehret game and it left a lot of other receivers open."

Williams has yet to drop a pass this season and has made the most of his few touches. He has scored on touchdown receptions of 50, 70 and 80-plus yards. Despite the limited touches, Williams is happy to see the wins.

"As long as we're winning, if I'm not getting the ball I'm still happy," he said.

On the recruiting front, two schools have emerged for Williams as leaders. Despite offers from the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and Big East, the long wideout has schools from Conference USA and the MAC out in front.

"My top two are Tulsa and Northern Illinois," he said. "My third one is kind of hard. I'm thinking about Mississippi State but I would say Southern Miss and then Mississippi State."

The reason for Williams' two leaders essentially comes down to familiarity and relationships.

"I've been talking about Tulsa for a long time and I like that program and stuff," he said. "I'm going out there to take their visit for the home game see the coaches and the campus. I'm thinking I'd feel at home and I already talk to some of the guys that have committed to Tulsa in the 2010 class and they text me every Friday night and they've already visited Tulsa and other colleges and they're feeling Tulsa hard."

The Northern Illinois connection may not be an obvious one for a player from southern Louisiana but due to a relationship he's built with the coaching staff, NIU is very much in the mix.

"The coach from Tulsa he emails me and says that he loves me," he said. "I talk to him a lot. They don't run the spread but they throw the ball a lot to their number one receiver and send a lot of guys to the NFL so I'm kind of leaning towards NIU too."

This weekend, Williams kicks off his string of official visits with a trip to Arkansas State. Northern Illinois is scheduled for October 2 and Tulsa will be on Halloween weekend. The remaining two visits are yet to be scheduled. At this point in the process the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa may be the team to beat.

"I don't want to say that I would close the deal on the visit (to Tulsa) but from the things that I've been hearing from the coaches and players that have committed there, it really seems like it and if I'm going to close the deal, it'd have to be something that really excites me," he said. "I talk to (East St. John's quarterback) Kalen Henderson that's committed and George Mayne, the linebacker and they love the place and I think they're going the same weekend as me."

With upside as high as his vertical, Williams could be a name to watch.


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