Oakleaf defensive lineman Chantz Williams is among many of the highly rated prospects in the Jacksonville area for the Class of 2020. 1010XL caught up with the four-star prospect to talk about his recruitment.
“It’s an eye-opening journey,” Williams told 1010XL. “It’s very overwhelming, but I’ve loved every minute of it. The process has been fun and to think that soon I actually have to settle down and make a decision is crazy.”
Williams (6-foot-33, 221 pounds) is considered a top 10 weak side defensive end nationally and is rated among the top 150 prospects in the country overall for his class according to 247sports.com.
“It’s nice to be recognized because recognition is always a good thing, but I’ve never really paid attention to the rankings because I feel like in some cases that messes with kids and then they don’t feel they need to go as hard,” Williams said. “I try and stay away from the rankings because I want to keep getting better and I know there is room for me to improve. So, seeing those rankings really doesn’t mean much to me.”
That ranking has already earned Williams a spot in the Under Armour All-American Game next January in Orlando.
“I was pretty surprised getting the call and finding out and I committed right away,” Williams said. “Knowing that I would have the opportunity to showcase at that level is very exciting to me. I’m very excited to play in the game.”
Williams is joined at Oakleaf by another four-star prospect, offensive tackle Jalen Rivers. Both Rivers and Williams have narrowed their list of perspective schools down to Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Miami
“I just feel really lucky to have him here,” Williams said about Rivers. “We have done everything together since we were little kids and it’s just nice to know that I get to do this with one of my best friends.
“Me and Jalen are committing at the same time to the same school. We wanted to commit before the season, but the way it’s looking, we are probably going to wait mid-season, or even after the season. That’s probably around the time that we will commit.”
Williams was asked what he is looking for in a college destination.
“I really want the academics and the sports programs to be top notch,” he said. “I want to have a good balance of both. I also want to feel a family atmosphere, so that when I come on campus it’s as if I’m coming to my second family. I want to be somewhere where I know I’m comfortable.”
Finally, Oakleaf is making the move to 8A football this year where they will play the likes of Mandarin, Bartram Trail and Sandalwood among others. Williams says his team is ready for that challenge.
“I feel like Oakleaf is prepared and we know the challenges that we picked up on this schedule,” Williams said. “We know what we have to do and what we need to do to be able to compete with some of those schools.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)