Dream school? Junior receiver E.J. Williams just had a big unofficial visit to UGA
E.J. Williams hails from Alabama. His former Central-Phenix City teammate Justyn Ross basically did everything but walk on water catching passes for Clemson in the national championship game.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder has now been to visit those champion Tigers five times. He’s also getting strong attention from both Alabama and Auburn.
Yet with that, he grew up a Georgia fan. His father was a Bulldog fan. That was the only school he favored growing up.
He was an A.J. Green guy and then became a Todd Gurley guy. He was most definitely a Gurley fan.
Williams visited UGA for the Auburn game last fall. But his unofficial this weekend marked his first extended time in Athens.
It was a “Junior Day” of sorts. He felt like a priority.
“I do feel like that now because they were only a handful of juniors at the ‘Junior Day’ and only two wide receivers,” he said. “That was me and [junior Alabama commit] Dazalin Worsham. The rest were official visits.”
He noticed that and appreciated being treated like a priority. The Bulldogs like his length and his ability to go make plays in the air.
Who wouldn’t off this reel?
“I thought it was a great place from when I went to the Auburn game,” Williams said. “I grew up a ‘Dawgs fan and I knew that they were a great team and have a great wide receivers coach in coach [Cortez] Hankton.”
Hmm. Let’s take a second to measure the correct degrees of difficulty here across all sides. This is quite the recruiting story gumbo to get one’s paragraphs around.
- The No. 7 player in Alabama for 2020 was a big UGA fan growing up
- He already has offers from Alabama and Auburn
- Former teammate who stars at Clemson
- He’s taken multiple trips (5) to Clemson so far
- His mother is from Jacksonville. She actually favors the Florida Gators
Could the chase get any more interesting? Well, the Bulldogs did add some intrigue to the pot with his latest trip.
Georgia begins its push for E.J. Williams
It might have really escalated when Georgia coach Kirby Smart spotted Williams at UGA.
“He came up to me in the weight room and told me I grew a lot in size and developed well,” Williams told DawgNation. “He also told me he was happy I came on the campus and couldn’t wait for me to come.”
Recruits will stress they need to look at these decisions like a business plan. To cull the emotion out of it. Elite recruits basically have to. They are bombarded with so many airtight pitches from so many schools with all kinds of amazing to offer.
“I try to put all that aside [at UGA] to really get to see what people are like and see if I like the atmosphere and so far I really do,” he said.
But Georgia still has an edge here no school can claim.
“They were the only college team I cheered for and they are still my favorite team today,” he said.
Williams plans to make his decision in December. The nation’s No. 41 WR prospect for 2020 (247Sports composite) can enroll early and plans to do so.
He really doesn’t have a set list of top schools or a leader. He’s getting layers upon layers of strong attention.
What did Georgia show him this weekend?
- Williams said he felt comfortable around the staff and started to build a better relationship with Hankton
- He “really likes the atmosphere at UGA” and felt “the campus is amazing.”
- Scored the visit a “solid 9” on a 10-point scale
- His words: “I mean right now I fit well at Georgia in my eyes even though they are a run-heavy school,” he said. “That’s a big thing for me, too. … They don’t throw the ball that much.”
That last concern is a logical assessment of the Georgia program. Especially for a guy that plays his position.
But before any old 2019 demons with the WR position start flaring up, let’s consider what he said about the role receivers must play in the run game.
Williams plays for a squad that just routed Thompson High and Taulia Tangovailoa in the state championship game in Alabama’s highest classification.
“I pride my blocking a lot,” he said. “We have a lot of pride in blocking at Central. At wide receiver, we focus on blocking more than anything.”
He also sees Georgia football the way most DawgNation readers do.
“When I saw Todd Gurley in the backfield it made me like them even more,” Williams said. “He really brought some fire to Georgia’s backfield.”
Did the visit move the dial for Georgia here? It very likely did. It would have been hard not to really hit home for this young man.
What drives E.J. Williams on the football field
Williams is a Georgia fan. His father, who grew up in Camilla, was a Georgia fan.
The hardest part of sharing this story is using the word “was” to describe that specific fan affiliation.
He plays for his father, Eddie Sr., and the memories there will always run deep.
That relationship is noted high along his Twitter page.
“I play football for my father who passed away when I was eight years old,” Williams said. “He loved the game a lot. Every time I came home from school he was on the couch just getting home from work watching football and he really got me into the game at a young age.”
“So I took it and ran way it,” he said.
His father was a Georgia fan.
“A big one,” EJ Williams said.
Williams said his father is on his mind whenever he takes a visit. Yes, he did think about his Dad during the time he spent in Athens over the weekend.
“I think about him on every visit I go on,” he said. “But I know he is looking down on me and is very proud of what I have accomplished so far.”
Where do the other schools fit in for E.J. Williams?
The storyline here is not fully developed. The guess here is this recruiting process might still be in the first half. He has a lot of searching to do.
There’s no need to hint at a boyhood-dream-come-true script when the ending is still very much in progress.
“I don’t have a list,” he said. “That’s why I plan on visiting a lot of schools.”
Why has he followed up those Clemson visits with more visits? He said it was not directly related to Ross.
“Not at all,” he said. “Its just the Clemson atmosphere and how much love I get there.”
Mississippi State was his first offer. Georgia checked in at No. 7 on that timeline.
He considers every offer to be a “blessing.”
“I know there are a lot of people who would like to be in my position,” he said. “So I thank the man above every day for the position I am in now.”
The Central-Phenix City had a strong junior season for his Red Devils. He finished 2018 with 40 catches for 688 yards and nine touchdowns. That’s a pretty stout 17.2 yard average per reception for the only Alabama high school team to go undefeated in class 7A football.