One of the potential can’t-miss prospects for the WVU football team was going to be Ohio native Alex Williams.
A big defensive lineman, Williams was regarded as a three-star recruit coming out of Pickerington High School, according to Rivals.com. The site lists Williams’ other potential suitors as Akron, Eastern Kentucky, Iowa State and Virginia.
Well, that’s not quite accurate. Because, at the last minute, in came Ohio State with an offer to the 6-foot-7 athlete. Williams jumped at the chance to play for his hometown team and instead of signing with the WVU football team, like he said he was going to do, Williams inked his letter of intent during the new early signing day on Wednesday.
It’s no surprise that Williams would jump like he did. He was probably an Ohio State fan growing up in a state that is dominated by the Buckeyes. It’s hard to fight a kid for getting the chance to live out a dream. That’s exactly what Fairmont native Darius Stills did a year ago. Stills had several Division I offers, but the WVU football team did not offer him until a day after he announced he was signing with Rutgers.
West Virginia, being Stills’ hometown team, did the same thing Ohio State did with Williams. It’s sneaky, yes, but everything is sneaky when it comes to college football recruiting. However, Ohio State’s motivation to land Williams looks to be slightly different than the WVU football team’s successful attempt to grab Stills last season.
Deadspin reports that Ohio State appears to be in the middle of a violation because of Kirk Herbstreit. During this past football season when College Gameday was in Columbus, Herbstreit was there as a media member with ESPN. Top defensive recruit Micah Parsons was pictured with Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback. According to some long rule, that is a violation.
Ohio State is no longer exploring Parsons, which is why it turned attention to Williams. When the offer came, Williams immediately accepted and jilted the WVU football team. He wen’t back on his word because Scout.com interviewed him just a month ago and he stood firm in his allegiance to the Mountaineers.
"“I will definitely be signing with West Virginia on December 20,” Williams stated. “I’ve been down to West Virginia a few times this year, and it has been great. They are always fantastic to me and my family.”"
It’s hard to fault a kid in a situation like this. Grown men and recruiting gurus can talk all they want but what it all really comes down to is what a teenager decides is best for his future. It would have been great for Williams to be a Mountaineer, but good for him for wanting to be a Buckeye.
West Virginia still looks to have a good recruiting class for 2018 and Dana Holgorsen is pleased with the players he has coming in next year. As always, it is a great time to be a Mountaineer.