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Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Confusion over RB Displays Nature of Offseason

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Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 24, 2016

Now you see him, now you don't.

Blue and Gold Illustrated quoted 2014 recruit Stanley Williams as saying he visited Notre Dame on Saturday and "the visit went great."

Of course, the running back is denying he was ever there.

Williams explained, via ESPN:

It was just a big misunderstanding. I just don't want people to think I have a bad reputation of lying or saying where I am going and things like that. But I told them I wasn't going to be able to make it, because I had a basketball game. When they texted me and asked if I was going, I said I was supposed to go, but some other things came up. We had a game on Saturday, and I wasn't able to make it.

Hmmm, something sounds fishy here. 

There are a few things that give me pause. One, Williams is a Georgia native and he's committed to Georgia, but he told DawgNation on Dec. 27 (via the ESPN report), "My commitment is obviously not as strong as it was before." He cited the increase in recruits at the running back position and the departure of recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner as his reasons for feeling this way.

Secondly, some of the first words that came out of Williams' mouth were, "I just don't want people to think I have a bad reputation of lying or saying where I am going and things like that."

He said this before he explained himself, by the way. To me, I think he's worried people will judge him for having second thoughts because he indeed had second thoughts (or still has).

He also claimed it was "a big misunderstanding," but never said the Blue and Gold Illustrated report was false.

Third, it seems far-fetched that Blue and Gold Illustrated would simply make up a story like that, or misquote Williams that poorly.

Then again, this hardly surprises me. 

This is what happens during recruiting season. Recruits decommit, commit and sometimes even decommit again before finally making their minds up on national signing day. It's become a circus. Wires get crossed, feelings get hurt and just about everybody gets confused at some point or another.

People forget that these are high school players, or people simply don't care. Cameras and reporters line up to get the scoop on the next 18-year-old who most surely will be "the next big thing." Sometimes recruits are forced into decisions only to back up in the end. Other times recruits clearly revel in the spotlight.

One thing's for sure: It's not realistic to expect a high schooler to know exactly what he wants at that stage in his life. It's also not realistic to expect a high schooler to make no mistakes (or not step on any toes) during the recruiting process.

The contradicting accounts surrounding Stanley Williams exemplify once again that recruiting season will never be simple. It will never be easy. And it certainly won't follow a straight line.


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