Top Target: Derrick Williams

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With 38 official scholarship offers in hand, Derrick Williams has his work cut out for him in terms of narrowing down his list. Williams will graduate this December and plans to enroll in college in January of 2005. Knowing he would graduate early (Derrick has easily qualified with a 3.71 GPA and a qualifying SAT score), Williams came up with a plan for his recruiting process.

“Before this started, Derrick, his father, and I decided we would make the recruiting process a business decision and not make it personal,” Eleanor Roosevelt Head Coach Rick Houchens said. “In a few weeks I’ll sit down with him and his Dad and reassess how he feels about the schools involved. Hopefully we can whittle the list down to a good pack he can focus on. I think we should try to get it down to around 10 schools so he can focus on them. Then he could narrow his list to maybe five or six before the season so he can focus on his official visits. We want to maybe set up a visit for September 24th because we have an open date. We may try and squeeze a date in October or else most of his visits will come in December. We’re exploring all options. He has to get his focus earlier than some others because he’s looking to enroll in January.”

Besides comfort level with players, coaches, and the school, the number one issue for Williams is having a chance to compete as a true freshman. The chance to compete early is one of the reasons he decided to graduate early.

Right now, Williams lists no favorites.

“I’m just feeling out everybody right now,” Williams said. “I have about 40 offers. The biggest things for me right now are having a good chance to play early, relationship with the coaches, comfort level with the school. Record does matter a little bit but it’s not huge. I care more about how I fit into the program. I want to play early and have a chance to compete right away.”

At 6-1, and now up to 192 pounds according to Coach Houchens, Williams plays quarterback and defensive back in high school. His 4.3 40 speed and exceptional quickness make him extremely dangerous as an option quarterback. As a junior last season, he threw for 558 yards with seven touchdowns and rushed for 1,363 yards with 22 scores.

While most schools envision Williams as a game-breaking wide receiver on the next level, Virginia Tech and Kansas State are recruiting him as a quarterback. Coach Houchens termed Virginia Tech as “fired up” about the possibility