One of the State’s Top Defenders in Class of 2010 Continues to Draw D-1 Attention
Practically every year Nebraska high schools produce a crop of 20 – 30 seniors that are capable of playing Division IA football. And standing tall among the cream of the crop in this year’s 2010 class is Omaha Burke’s 6-2, 190lb, linebacker Austin Williams, who is currently rated the No. 17 top prospect in myHitNews.com’s Top 25 Nebraska HS Football Prospects: Class of 2010.
The talented hard-hitting senior continues to draw D-IA interest from Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa State—a combine where he performed so well at this past summer that he was named Best LB and was recognized for his Leadership at the camp. The knowledge that Williams picked up from attending various college camps this summer, along with his offseason training and conditioning program, have evidently helped him to compile some very nice stats this year:
“I’m having a pretty decent season so far. I got a lot of tackles for loss–somewhere between 10-15 and about 4 or 5 sacks, a couple of forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a couple of pass breakups, “ Williams said.
On the offense side of the ball, Williams lines up mainly at the RB slot where he is averaging nearly 10 yards per carry for the Bulldogs. If Williams’ strong senior year performance is any indication, he should have some D-1A schools pondering even deeper about what he could bring to the table at the next level.
Who Is Showing Williams the Most Love?
“The D-1 schools looking at me are wanting me to play safety, but some of the D-1AA schools and D-2 schools like North Dakota State, North Dakota, USD (University of South Dakota) and Northwest Missouri State are still considering me at linebacker. The one thing I know for sure is I won’t be playing any running back in college” When asked about what D1A school is showing the most interest in his services, Williams said Iowa State coach Luke Wells corresponds with him the most but Coach Paul Creighton from Colorado is not far behind in his number of contacts with him.
A Hunger for Success
Williams says he runs about a 4.60 40 yard dash, which makes him fast enough to be an effective safety at the D-1A level, but his frame could be a limitation for him playing LB at that level. However, what Williams lacks in great speed or ideal size he definitely makes up for through his high football IQ, intensity of play and his raw determination. While following his career from the time he was a sophomore, the thing that jumps out to me the most about Austin Williams is his ravenous hunger to succeed. Speaking as a former D-1 football player:
He is that kid on the team that may not be the fastest, or the strongest but you know he can play! The kind of kid that will out focus you and out work you to find his way onto the field and produce. That’s just his nature”
The kind of young man that took up pole vaulting—how crazy can you be–in his junior year, because he barely missed making the Bulldogs’ 4 X 100 relay team and he wanted to compete in another event where he could earn meet points for his team. Williams ended up jumping well over 12 feet last year and if he adds another foot to his vault this year he should qualify for the state meet.
Williams Psyched to Win State Wrestling Title
He may dabble in track and field but Williams is a serious contender for a 2010 Class A state wrestling title. After football season, he will drop a considerable amount of weight to compete at 171lbs, moving up from last year’s 160lb class. “Man, I was really disappointed at last year’s state tournament. I chocked! I lost to a guy I beat before and I only made it to the quarterfinals. This year my goal is to win the whole thing,” Williams said.
A state wrestling title may very well be in his future but right now football–his true love—is all that is on his mind. It is the state title he wants first. Yet at 5-2 the Bulldogs find themselves in the same position that they were in last year, having lost to the same two teams Millard West and Bellevue West. “I can’t explain that. We are a better team than that. Those losses have made us come together as a team and we should be fine the rest of the way. The goal is still to win the state title. I know we can do it.”
Huskers Can’t Be Ignored
Williams hopes that sometime between now and Signing Day, in February, he will get that D-1A offer, but he is also very realistic. “I have not received any offers yet but I know I can play D-1 ball. I hope to get an opportunity somewhere. I would definitely consider walking on at Nebraska. I’ve grown up here and I’ve always liked the Huskers and have wanted to play for them. So if I don’t get a D-1A offer that would be a strong possibility, unless I got an offer from a D-1AA school with a really good football program.” The pull of Huskers in the state of Nebraska lives on!
Recent high school football recruiting history in the state of Nebraska foretells that at least 1 to 3 more student/athletes in this state will receive D-1A scholarships offers between now and Signing Day in February. Who will get one? It’s hard to say but Austin Williams is definitely in the hunt.