This past weekend was a good one for Florida on the recruiting trail. The Gators received commitments from two prospects including a pledge from four-star defensive back Joel Williams out of Baton Rouge, LA.
“Florida is special,” Williams told 1010XL. “I’m from Baton Rouge and everybody just thought I was going to LSU and LSU was recruiting me hard, but it’s different at Florida.
“The coaching staff puts you in the league and I learned a lot just by watching them. It’s just somewhere where I really belong.”
Williams, (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) from Madison Prep Academy, is considered to be among the top 250 overall recruits in the country for the class of 2020.
Williams had offers from all over the country, but tried not to look at the rankings too much.
“You know it’s just rankings and I like the rankings, but those are just opinions,” Williams said. “Rankings don’t get you to the league and rankings don’t get you paid.”
One of the main factors that lead to Williams to Florida is his relationship with Dan Mullen.
“Coach Mullen is the coolest head coach I’ve ever met,” Williams said. “We had a water balloon fight and he is just very cool. He’s a good coach and I can see myself playing behind him.”
A water balloon fight?
“They had some water balloons and he threw them at me so I threw them right back at him,” Williams said laughing. “I’m not just going to sit there and let him throw balloons at me.”
Williams was asked to describe his strengths as a defensive back.
“I’m somebody that will lock you up,” he said. “I’ll hit you and I’ll do anything because I’m not a nice guy.
“I can play more than just cornerback. I can play safety, nickel and that’s what Florida likes. They like me at safety and at corner.”
Williams knows turning his back on LSU will come with a cost.
“When I come back home those Tiger fans probably aren’t going to like it, but I don’t care,” Williams said.
Williams is the third defensive back in recent years to commit to Florida from the state of Louisiana. Brad Stewart (New Orleans, 2017) and Chester Kimbrough (New Orleans, 2019) were the other two.
Finally, Williams had this message for the Gator fan base.
“Just know that you got a hard working defensive back that can play anything on the field.”
Williams was joined by three-star tight end Jonathan Odom from Tampa as the two commitments the Gators received this past weekend.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)