Florida State Is Recruiting 8th-Grader Rashad Williams

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 13, 2014


The 2014 recruiting class is barely in the books, but the Florida State Seminoles are already looking forward to the class of 2019.

That's right: 2019. Ryan Bartow of 247Sports reports that FSU is targeting running back Rashad Williams, an eighth-grader from Charlotte, N.C.

It might sound crazy to target a prospect who isn't even in high school, but it is clear by looking at Williams' tape that he is an incredibly skilled athlete, especially for his age.

His story is similar to that of countless athletes across the nation, except those stories don't usually begin until players have at least reached high school.

“It is unbelievable,” Williams told 247Sports. “I didn’t expect to get recruited at this age. I thought maybe it happen by my junior or senior year.”

His recruitment began with a highlight tape and a connection between Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach Brentson Buckner and Florida State defensive assistant Sal Sunseri. Brentson, who played under Sunseri for the Carolina Panthers, received Williams' tape and sent it to Sunseri.

Apparently, Sunseri and the Seminoles were impressed with the tape and wanted to be the first ones to make an impression on the 5'7", 150-pound running back, Rashad's father Hilton Williams told 247Sports:

I got a call from (Buckner) saying Florida State really liked my son. That was last Thursday. FSU told him that my son has very good feet. He said Sal wants FSU to be the first ones to show interest in my son so when he starts looking at schools he knows FSU was the first one.

It's very shocking and surprising to me. I never thought colleges would show interest in my son already when he was in middle school. It's very shocking. They think my son is real good.

FSU thinks Williams is good enough to attend its Junior Day on March 1.

Williams told Bartow that he is looking forward to seeing Doak Campbell Stadium and meeting Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, along with the other 'Noles.

“I just want to see the field (not a recruiting pun- he wants to see the field they play on at Doak Campbell Stadium),” Rashad said. “I want to meet the players and talk to Jameis Winston. I want to have fun and get the experience.” 

According to Bartow, Williams rushed for 17 touchdowns in 10 games last year and will be attending West Mecklenburg High School next year.

The recruitment of football prospects at a young age isn't out of the ordinary. Recently, LSU's targeting of 2017 LB/RB Dylan Moses was highly publicized. Moses, now committed to the Tigers, even landed on the cover of ESPN The Magazine at the age of 15.

In 2010, USC accepted a verbal commitment from 2015 quarterback David Sills, who was just 13 at the time. He is still committed to the Trojans, though he has since been considering other schools.

Williams hasn't made his choice yet and could be a long way off from making his decision. However, FSU has to be considered the very early favorite after giving Williams his first taste of the recruiting process.