Following one of the busiest weeks and weekends of the offseason so far, the Auburn Tigers began this week by landing arguably the most dynamic playmaker in the class: D’haquille Williams.
The 6'3", 190-pound receiver is the consensus No. 1 JUCO player for the 2014 recruiting cycle. After a brief commitment to LSU, Williams chose to decommit following the commitment of his teammate, Derrick Moncrief, who committed to Auburn in early May.
Following his decommitment, Williams remained quiet about his recruitment—until now.
After his official visit on Saturday and his commitment on Sunday, Williams had quite a bit to say about the familiar feeling on The Plains.
“I knew it since last night when I walked out on that field… I felt it,” Williams said, per Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports. “And when I felt it, I knew this was home.”
This feeling of “home” didn’t just come from Williams’ time spent in Jordan-Hare Stadium; it also came from his relationship with the coaching staff and his lead recruiter, Dameyune Craig.
“Coming in on Friday, being around Coach Craig, [it] felt like he was there for me—on and off the field,” Williams said. “Just feeling the vibe he offered…[and] Coach Malzahn and Coach Lashlee, letting me know they need me. When I’m hearing that, that’s telling me they care for me. Not too many people I trust, but I trust in them—coming here and feeling at home, it’s big for me.”
While on this most recent visit, the 5-star JUCO prospect met with current Tigers and now feels determined to exceed even the highest expectations.
“Meeting new people, Quan Bray, Nick Marshall, it’s big," he said, via Justin Hokanson of AuburnSports.com. "What they’re telling me, it’s business. You have to work hard and they came from where I came from. I know for a fact that I’m going to make a big impact. Not too many people know what I’m capable of, but I’m going to show them.”
Though Williams has decommitted from a school in the past, he is confident Auburn is where he wants to be.
“This is it right here. The LSU situation, I’m not saying I was pressured, but I didn’t feel comfortable," he told Hokanson. "I knew since I walked into Auburn, I knew this was home.”
As we have seen over and over again, JUCO players are not brought in to sit on the bench, and Williams should be no different. Expect him to provide an instant improvement to an already athletic group of receivers on The Plains.
The presence of Williams' 6'3" frame on the outside and quick, shifty receivers such as the newly committed Stanton Truitt on the inside should be a dynamic combination for years to come.
The JUCO All-American hauled in nearly 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns receiving last season as a member of Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College.
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