Nation’s Top Player Narrows List

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Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, MD) athlete Derrick Williams has narrowed his list of schools to 14. The 6-1, 195 pound Williams is a five-star prospect by Insiders.com and Rivals.com and is considered the top overall prospect in the country.

“The top 14 are (in no particular order) Penn State, Florida, Florida State, Miami (FL), Ohio State, Oklahoma, Southern California, Tennessee, Texas, UConn, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Virginia and Virginia Tech,” said Dwight Williams, Derrick’s father.

Mr. Williams indicated all of the schools who made the initial cut are even at this point in the recruiting process. He says the second cut, which will narrow the field to about 8 schools, could come in the middle or by the end of August.

“All of the schools are pretty even,” Williams said. “There are no favorites at this time. Every school has their own specialty. We’re going to set up criteria for the second round, go over that, and evaluate everyone. We’ll set the five visits after we get down to eight.”

Many factors, including early playing time, stability of the coaching staff, and graduation rates, will be evaluated by Derrick and his family before the second cut is made. Location does not seem to be a major factor.

“Some of the things Derrick wants to look at are the opportunity to play early, the opportunity to be one of the marquee players on the team, graduation rates for minorities in the institution, and the hiring practices as far as African Americans getting opportunities within the institution,” Williams said. “Of course he’ll look at the stability of the coaching staff…we don’t want to go somewhere where the coach could easily be replaced within a year or two. Derrick has no problems going to the West Coast or the East Coast. It would be nice to be close, but location is not one of the top priorities.”

Both UVa and Virginia Tech made the initial cut. Mr. Williams discussed the positives both programs offer and why each made the list of 14.

For Virginia

“I told Virginia before our visit, and I’ll be honest with you, that they weren’t in our consideration,” Williams said. “After we met the guys, we found out what Al Groh was about, finding out the diversity within the school, and learning that it was the number one public school in the nation, those things made them special.

“Al Groh and his staff

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