College football coaches were already giving Ty Williams plenty of love. The list of offers for the Muskogee safety doubled in the short March window before schools closed.
COVID-19 may have slowed that, but it won’t stop.
This month, Colorado, Louisville, Arkansas,Texas State and Texas-San Antonio joined North Texas, Tulsa, Missouri, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, Arkansas State and Kansas. Williams made a visit to junior day visit to Missouri but had a trip to Kansas canceled.
Williams, coming off an All-Phoenix junior season where he led the area in interceptions with nine, is facing what will likely be a shutdown of all school activities through the official end of the school year, June 30. That includes spring football for sure and possibly team camps.
The thought of no football in June hadn’t hit him yet. It still awaits approval today by the State Department of Education, coming from state superintendent Joy Hofmeister’s recommendation on Monday. But for now, he’s made the most of his training.
“I know what workouts and work ethic I need to be prepared for the next level. I don’t have to communicate with them. They know I’m going to work with or without them because I want to be great,” Williams said.
That approach, despite the current hurdles, will likely pay additional dividends.
“It’s just going to continue to grow,” said Muskogee head coach Rafe Watkins. “I look for OU and OSU to pull the trigger at any time, and Texas A&M is showing some interest. But even if it stopped today, he already has some great offers.”
Watkins said the feedback he’s got from coaches elevates after one on one contact with his standout.
“Barry Odom (Arkansas’ first-year defensive coordinator) has called me 2-3 times about him and he said how you like the kid on film and when you get to talk to him that even brings it out more,” Watkins said. “That’s the thing about him, he’s so personal. He’s the rare deal of a total package, a good athlete and a good kid.
“You take Georgia Tech and Colorado and the academic part they provide and just because of knowing the Iowa State staff somewhat and Dan Campbell seems to be there for the long haul, they’ve got something special going on up there. So he’s got good options as it is.”
Georgia Tech offer opened Williams’ eyes a bit.
“It’s crazy how a place that far away offered me, but it really is close to home because I’m from South Carolina,” he said, noting he moved to Muskogee in the fourth grade. “I work hard in the classroom so that part didn’t surprise me.”
Williams may be absent from the coaches office but he’s got his own chalk talk, so to speak.
“I watch Clay Mack and I watch YouTube on what to look for in different formations,” he said. Mack is a Dallas-area NFL combine training specialist.
Meanwhile, Williams takes all of it in stride. He’ll also return at quarterback. None of his offers are to play quarterback but some are looking at him as an overall athlete for use in multiple spots.
“I’m focused on this season and what it will bring,” he said.
While Williams is well ahead on the recruiting curve, Watkins is concerned how the stoppage could impact opportunities for other kids. Many coaches visit teams during spring football and early summer camps.
Roughers linebacker Caleb Webb did get an upper-level offer from Texas-San Antonio this spring, but he like others with no spring ball face a different situation as other options develop.
“The major schools will come to spring practice to see a particular kid but tell someone else at a smaller school about another kid they saw, and it kind of trickles down to where others get opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise had,” Watkins said.
Any visits, at this point, will be through technology.