Camren Williams is a linebacker prospect from West Roxbury, Massachusetts. After the Penn State scandal broke, Camren was recruited by a number of schools but chose Ohio State. He was a much-needed recruit to add depth at the linebacker position. He took some time to give Buckeye nation a glimpse into himself and Ohio State football.
Your dad played for New England; did this allow you to get to know Bill Belichick and Tom Brady?
CW: I watched them and went to training camp but there was no real inside connection with the Pats outside of working with a personal trainer who also worked with 17 players on the Patriots.
Did Penn State try to recruit you after the coaching situation stabilized?
CW: Yes they did. Coach O’Brien did not because he was busy with the Super Bowl but other coaches came at Armani and me. I know the defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator talked to us a lot and recruited us hard. Originally, after the Sandusky scandal broke, I was thinking about staying committed to PSU but once I visited OSU, I fell in love with the place. I felt it was a better fit for me academically as well as football. I had good talks with coach Vrabel, Fickell and Meyer and felt OSU was where I wanted to go.
How well did you know former PSU recruits Tommy Schutt, Joey O’Connor and PSU target Noah Spence before you committed to OSU?
CW: I knew Noah since the summer and I talked to Tommy and got to know him at the Alabama game. I also got to know Joey over the summer. I believe Tommy and Joe were the first two to commit which made it easier for me because I already knew and was comfortable with them. I have also gotten to know Josh Perry, David Perkins, Jamal Marcus, Frank Epitropoulos and Luke Roberts too. I look forward to getting to know all of my teammates on the team now and in my class.
How much did having great DL recruits influence your decision?
CW: It affected me a lot! Tommy Schutt is one of the best defensive tackle prospects and Noah Spence maybe the best DE prospect in the country. OSU already had Adolphus Washington, so knowing they are such great players in front of me made it even more appealing to come to Ohio State. When an offensive line has to double or even triple-team a D-lineman, it opens up allies for linebackers to make plays. Linebackers will play a lot better when they have great players in front of them. The whole team will be positively influenced when they have a dominating defensive line.
Tell me about your relationship with Luke Fickell?
CW: I love coach Fickell, he is one of the main reasons I chose Ohio State. He is a real person and I know he will push me to be a better player. He is intelligent and a great leader. He represented the school well when he was thrust into such a tough situation. He is also considered one of the best linebacker coaches in the country having coached guys like A.J. Hawk and James Laurinatus. In fact, over a seven-year period I believe all of his starters were drafted in the NFL.
Compare Luke Fickell to Urban Meyer?
CW: They are actually more similar than people think. They are both great coaches, great people, they have strong family values; they understand football on and off the field.
Your dad grew up a Michigan fan, how did he influence your recruiting process?
CW: My dad does not hate Ohio State because he respects the rivalry and knows that neither school would be as great without the other but he was able to play devil’s advocate because he knew Ohio State so well. He tried to talk me through some of the negatives that I would not be able to see to make sure I was making the decision for the right reasons. His mind was very open but he wanted to make sure that I was making the best decision myself without someone, including himself, having too much influence. After all of his talks, I still felt OSU was the best place for me and he supported me. He is a Buckeye fan now.
Which position is best for you, outside linebacker or middle?
CW: I can play both and will play anywhere that can help the team win. I played outside linebacker my junior year of high school and played middle linebacker during my senior year. So I can play anywhere they want me too.
I hear Armani Reeves is incredibly fast and could be a Percy Harvin type player that OSU felt they were lacking when they did not sign Davonte Neal or Stefon Diggs, what do you think?
CW: Armani is definitely an offensive playmaker and is highly explosive. Coach Vrabel talked to him about returning kicks and punts and I will not be surprised if they try to get the ball to Armani on offense. He runs close to a 4.3 so he is very fast.
Are there any top players in Massachusetts that you and Armani are trying to recruit to OSU?
CW: There is one player that I recently met, John Montelus, an offensive tackle that OSU recently offered. He has no idea where he wants to go as he also has offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida and other top schools. I was also told that OSU is interested in a DL named Maurice Hurst but I do not think they have offered yet.
Anything else you want to say to Buckeye nation?
CW: I look forward to being a Buckeye and playing for Urban Meyer, one of the great coaches as well as Luke Fickell and I will give Ohio State 100 percent both on and off the field.