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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

By Sammy Batten

Ga. recruit brings talent & intangibles

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Grayson High School coach Mickey Conn has been watching Terry Williams play football since the eighth grade, and he knew right from the start he had a college prospect on his hands.

“He started coming over and working out with us in about the seventh grade during our off-season program,'' Conn said. “We knew he was going to be a college recruit. We just didn't know what level or what position we were going to play him at. We just knew he was a great football player.''

Williams has lived up to Conn's first impression as a three-year starter at the Loganville, GA, high school that is one of the state's top Class 5-A programs. He received scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan, Georgia Southern, Kent State, Samford and South Alabama, but decided earlier this month to instead make a verbal commitment to the East Carolina Pirates.

The 6-foot, 250-pounder, who has 4.8-second speed in the 40-yard dash, is the fourth linebacker to make a pledge to the Pirates for their recruiting Class of 2010. All three of ECU's current linebacker starters are scheduled to graduate after the 2009 season and two of the second-teamers are juniors, so bolstering that area is one of the priorities in this class.

Williams is a mainstay on defense for a Grayson squad that has won back-to-back Region 8-AAAAA championships. He racked up 106 tackles and one sack as a sophomore, then added 97 tackles, six sacks and an interception last season in helping the Rams reach the state semifinals.

This year's defensive unit, which also includes Georgia Tech commit Shawn Green on the defensive line and Brigham Young pledge Kori Gaines at defensive back, is giving up an average of eight points a game and has produced five shutouts.

Conn said Williams is the leader of that group.

“You watch the kid and you see his passion and ability to lead people who are around him,'' Conn said. “He's got something you can't measure, that you have to see it. He raises the level of play of people around him because he's so passionate and works so hard at the game. And he's not afraid to hold others accountable for playing at their top level.''

Williams excels because of athletic ability and his knowledge of the game, according to Conn.

“A lot of times these days the actual ability to play the game of football gets let out of today's recruiting,'' he said. “Too many people measure a prospect on height, weight and 40 times. Well, this kid is a football player. He understands situations, how to play angles and he understands how to tackle, which is a lot art in today's football.

“He understands down and distance. If somebody runs a halfback pass against us, he's back there with the safety because he's watched film and understood what they were doing before they did it. He's a student of the game.''

East Carolina began courting Williams last spring, but wasn't initially sure what position he could play in college. So the Pirates didn't extend an offer until September after he made an unofficial visit to Greenville to watch the Central Florida game.

“He could play linebacker, fullback or even defensive line,'' Conn said. “I'm not sure where they'll put him. They signed him as a football player.

“I think one of the reasons he liked East Carolina is because they're so passionate about football just like him. They fill their stadium every Saturday and they care about football.''

The Pirates now have 13 known commitments, including seven defensive prospects.

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11/03/2009 04:22:15 AM


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