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November 22, 2004
If Spurrier calls, would Williams answer?
With Steve Spurrier, known for his Fun 'N Gun offense at Florida, ready to take over from Lou Holtz at South Carolina, there's little doubt that he and his staff will be calling some top wideouts and quarterbacks. If Spurrier were to call, would it be too late for the nation's No. 1 prospect to listen?
"No, I don't think it would be too late," said Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt standout Derrick Williams. "It's getting close on time because I want to announce on Dec. 22 or around there, but coach Spurrier has a great reputation for throwing the ball around and for a wide-open offense and that's exactly what I'm looking for."
Williams, a 6-foot-0, 189-pounder with 4.3 speed, has opened his recruitment a bit and is not certain who will get his fifth visit.
"Right now I've visited Florida and Penn State on officials and I have Tennessee this weekend and Oklahoma on Dec. 10," he said. "My fifth one, which could come on Dec. 3 or Dec. 17, is wide open. I'm looking at any team that is throwing the ball a lot."
Schools that his father, Dwight, mentioned last week include Miami, Texas, Florida State and Louisville. South Carolina would also fit in.
"Coach Spurrier won SEC titles and a national title with a great offense," said Dwight. "We followed him pretty closely when he was with the Washington Redskins and I think he would have turned them around had he been given more time. He's a great coach, especially for offense. If he called, we'd listen. But we're not waiting around or anything, we just have respect for what he's done."
South Carolina is one of more than 60 schools that offered Williams a scholarship, but with the offense they ran under Holtz, they were never considered.
"All the schools we're looking at throw the ball around a bit and have a pro-style offense," Derrick said. "South Carolina didn't have that, but they look like they will soon."
In the meantime, Williams is focusing on his other favorites. In fact, he took a surprise unofficial visit to Penn State this weekend.
"It was a last-minute thing," he said. "A buddy of mine and I just decided to drive up for the game. I know one of the grad assistants at PSU so he was the only one we talked to, the coaches didn't know I was coming. I also visited a friend in Altoona, so it was a cool trip."
How was the game atmosphere?
"It was amazing, really," he said. "I went to a Florida game and there were around 70,000 people there, but to see 100,000 and more in one place, it was amazing. The fan support there is great and Penn State has a very good defense, they just need some offense."
Does the commitment from Justin King, the nation's No. 1 cornerback and No. 9 player overall, impact his decision?
"No, not at all to be honest," he said. "I'm making my choice for myself and not because of who committed where. I like Justin and we've talked before, but I haven't talked to him since he committed. Penn State is more than one or two players away on offense to compete in the Big Ten, but that also wouldn't really factor in my decision if PSU is the place I really like best."
Rumors have been swirling that Williams favors Penn State while other sources say that family connections in Oklahoma have the Sooners out in front. Is there any truth to either?
"No," he laughed. "I don't have a leader, I need to take all five visits and sit down with my family and compare everything. This is a big decision and I'll be taking everything into consideration."