Size and speed set Vince Williams apart among the top linebackers in the recruiting class of 2008. The 6-1, 215-pounder from Ridge Community High School in Davenport is coming off an outstanding junior year that elevated his status significantly. He has an impressive list of offers that only figures to grow in the next few months.
Based on experience, it only figures that Williams will improve upon a 122-tackle, nine-sack season as a senior next year, but that junior year did produce some lasting memories. One game in particular stood out.
“We were winning 7-0 against our rivals, Lake Wales,” Williams recalled. “They were on our 5 yard line and I lined up at outside linebacker. I blitzed off the edge, and I made the sack with five seconds to go as the QB was scrambling for the end zone. I also broke an 85-yard run earlier that game.”
His ability to make big plays at critical junctures of ball games is a big reason Williams is more than just a blip on the recruiting radar of some of the top football programs in the south. He’s already go a list of favorites.
“Right now, I’m looking at Florida State, Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU,” said Williams.
Williams talked about three of his favorite teams:
FLORIDA STATE: “It’s wonderful up there. They had a down year last season, but I really like the overall feel of the program.”
FLORIDA: “You’ve got to love it. They’re #1 in football and basketball. There is something to be said about the school and how they graduate athletes.”
ALABAMA: “I love their tradition. Coach (Kevin) Steele recruited me at Florida State, and now that he moved to Alabama, my interest in them grew.”
Though he has already seen the campuses of both Florida and Florida State, his first time attending a junior day was at Florida on February 3rd.
“Their junior day was really nice,” said Williams. “I love the accessibility of Urban Meyer. You always see him around and he was always there for you. It was a wonderful experience to be around a group of your peers and see the coaches there too.”
As he continues to be exposed to different college campuses, Williams will continue to see certain aspects of universities that he would like to see in his future home school.
“Right now, I’m looking for a school that shows no bias between a freshman and upper class players,” Williams said. “Special players should play. If I learn the system and I’m a better player than an upperclassman, I feel like I should play.
“Education is also important. I need a school to have a solid law program because that’s what I want to major in, and eventually become a lawyer.”
The linebacker with 4.6 speed already understands his strengths and weaknesses on the football field.
“My best asset is my tenacity and aggressiveness,” said Williams. “I love to run and hit people. I love to bring excitement to all the people in the stands.”
There has been a lot of buzz around Williams’ ties to the Florida State program, even some within his immediate family. The Polk county linebacker however, claims that these ties will have no effect on his final decision.
“My dad went to Florida State,” said Williams. “That won’t make an impact on my decision. My parents have given me freedom in this process. I will go wherever I feel is the best for me.”