January 26, 2009

Rebels, Hogs in dead heat for Tallahassee DE

Alex Williams left Fayetteville, Ark., on Jan. 11 with Arkansas in command for his signature.

Two weeks later, the three-star defensive end from Tallahassee (FAMU High), Fla., pulled out of Oxford, Miss., with the race for his collegiate services very much up in the air.

Williams spent Saturday and Sunday taking an official visit to Ole Miss. Williams left Oxford late Sunday, spent the night in Alabama and was back in Tallahassee Monday morning with plenty to think about.

"I can honestly say it's tied again," Williams said. "I have no idea where I'm going to go to college. It's going to be so hard. I can see myself fitting into both systems successfully. It's going to come down to how my family feels. It might come down to a coin flip."

Williams gave his visit to Ole Miss rave reviews. He was hosted by rising senior cornerback Marshay Green, who was the defensive MVP of the Rebels' AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic win over Texas Tech in Dallas on Jan. 2.

"It was great," Williams said. "I had a wonderful time. Every part of the visit was good. The relationship between the players and the coaches really stuck out."

Specifically, Williams was struck by an evening at Ole Miss cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn's home. Williams said he went there for dinner with Green and a few other players. Vaughn's wife, Marquette, was cooking dinner, and Williams noticed how comfortable the players were joking around with her about her cooking skills.

"What I noticed was they all knew their way around his house," Williams said. "They went upstairs with his kids and played on their Wii (entertainment system). That stuck out. You can't just set that up."

Williams was also impressed by Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

"Coach Nutt was involved in everything," Williams said. "They really showed interest in me as a person and they were concerned with life outside of football."

Williams said he and Nutt had a conversation while watching X Games snowboarding on the television.

"He said they want me and they like my (pass) rush skills," Williams said. "They said I'd help their program. …Almost all of the programs ask the same questions and say the same things, but some of the personalities are different. They all have good facilities and good weight rooms, but not all programs have that type of relationships. That left a lasting impression."

On Sunday, Williams, who also has several basketball scholarship offers from several mid-major programs, met with Ole Miss assistant basketball coach Torrey Ward.

"He told me I had a spot and an opportunity," Williams said. "He told me I wouldn't just be a water-passer. He said I'd get some minutes. That's a plus."

Williams said Nutt, Vaughn and Co. will be in Tallahassee on Wednesday for an in-home visit. He'll then take an official visit to Florida A&M this weekend before making a decision early next week .

"They all just want me to let them know," Williams said, laughing. "I'll let them know when I know."

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