June 15, 2008

Big Alabama OL rakes in two offers

One week ago, Dothan (Houston Academy), Ala. offensive lineman Josh Williford headed out of his home town for camping engagements at LSU and Ole Miss as a little know recruit with no offers and its safe to say he had a successful week.

Williford, 6-foot-7, 345 pounds with 5.27 speed in the 40-yard dash, first went to Baton Rouge on Monday, then to Oxford on Tuesday and was offered by both schools on the spot after short workouts.

"At LSU, I went to one practice and then talked with the coaches," Williford said on Saturday evening. "One of them asked me if I would be excited if I got an offer from LSU and and I said 'yes', and he said, 'well, get ready to get excited.' Coach (Josh) Henson then offered me a scholarship.

On Tuesday, Williford traveled from Baton Rouge to the Ole Miss campus with near identical results.

"I worked out for about an hour and then coach (Ron) Dickerson came up to me and said congratulations," Williford said. "That's when I knew an offer was coming. I hung out with (offensive line coach Mike) Markuson and toured the campus and when we got back, my family and I talked with coach (Houston) Nutt and he offered."

While Williford was impressed with the offers, he's not done with the recruiting process or camps - he has one more left.

"I'm going to Tuscaloosa next weekend and then I'm done," he said.

Williford said the Tide is "showing a bunch of interest" and he's also hearing from Stanford, Duke, Florida State, Southern Miss, UAB, and Memphis.

However, for now, it appears the three front runners are Ole Miss, Alabama, and LSU. Williford says among those three, none standout right now.

"I could see myself at any of those (three) schools," he said. "They are all great schools when it comes to facilities, coaches, and academic support. Me and my family need to sit down and see what's best for me. I just need to find out which one is the best for me."

Ironically, Williford grew up a Tennessee fan and camped in Knoxville last summer, but it appears the Vols are out of the race.

"I had been recruited by Tennessee, but my recruiter, coach (Matt) Luke went with David Cutcliffe to Duke," Williford said. "When that happened, I stopped hearing anything from them."

Willford says Alabama and LSU are recruiting him as an offensive guard, but Markuson wants him as an offensive tackle at Ole Miss.

"He (Markuson) said he thinks I could come in and start next year," Williford said. "I don't care where I play - guard, tackle - it doesn't make any difference to me. I've played everywhere. I just like hitting people."

One thing about the Rebels and their new staff has caught Williford's attention is Markuson.

"Coach Markuson and coach Dickerson are both great guys," he said. "He (Markuson) is a great dude and he has put a lot of players in the NFL. He's the type of coach who will do well with whatever talent he has."

Willford said he would like to commit by the end of the summer and have his decision out of the way, but he won't commit unless he's absolutely sure.

He makes it clear that his family will play a big role in his final decision, but he'll ultimately do what's best for himself.

"My mom, she wants me to go to Alabama because it's closer to home," Williford said. "My dad, he's just a big fan of the SEC and he's excited about me having the chance to play in the SEC. I think he's a bit overcome by it all. He's just excited and will support whatever I decide."

Williford said his high school team finished last season with a 7-3 record and was predominately a run oriented team.

"I love to run block," he said. "I know I'll have to do a lot of pass blocking in college, and the two camps I attended have already improved by pass blocking a lot."

Williford reports a 3.4 GPA and has already made a 22 on his ACT.

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