Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eric Williams following his brothers to Yale

It's tough enough for a family to have one son to able to enroll and play football for Yale but when Eric Williams arrives at Yale in August, he will be the third member of his family to suit up for Yale.

It started with Sean Williams, a former starting defensive end/linebacker who graduated in 2010, was the first. He was followed by Scott who came in as a quarterback but moved to defense and will be a senior in the fall. Eric Williams was a highly-touted quarterback prospect who led Cleveland's St. Ignatius to Ohio's Division I title. The 6-foot-3 Williams passed for 2,132 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior after transferring in from Oregon.

Earlier this evening, I spoke with Williams' father Larry, the athletic director at Marquette, about Eric's commitment.

"I am very happy to have Eric follow in his brothers' footsteps," said Larry Williams, who played with the NFL's Cleveland Browns from 1986-88. "We couldn't be more pleased.

"When he (Sean Willians) did finally make the decision to go to Yale, I remember being incredibly proud 'wow, my kid is going to Yale, that is pretty cool.' Then I had to realize it was my kid going to Yale and not me, I don't have anything to do with this. He did it all on his own. I tried to temper my enthusiasm but I can't help but be proud to have all three of them attend just an unbelievable institution."

Eric Williams was at the top of the list of quarterback prospects being pursued by the previous coaching staff. When Tom Williams resigned and there was a period of uncertainty before Tony Reno was hired as Yale's new football coach, it didn't impact the recruitment of Williams.

"Well it was a really exciting season for Eric," Larry Williams said. "He transferred to Cleveland St. Ignatius and did a wonderful job leading them to a state championship so that ride was absolutely a thrilling run. Because of that, we didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the recruiting piece or anything else. The former coaching staff stayed close to Eric and for that we are very appreciative. When the change in coaches occurred, quietly we were pulling for Coach Reno because we knew him through his recruitment of both Sean and Scott and couldn't have any more respect for any coach in the United States so we were very happy that he got the job."

It didn't hurt that starting quarterback Patrick Witt was graduating and Eric Williams would have a chance to come in and compete for a starting position as a freshman.

"That was not lost in the process," Larry Williams said. "It is a very exciting prospect to go in and be able to participate at a young age, that is quite alluring. That is just on the football side, the academic side speaks for itself I think.

"He is very talented. His athleticism is quite good, he can wiggle and make somebody miss but what really sets him apart is his ability to deliver a ball accurately into a tight window. He was able to do that through his entire senior year and was very instrumental in them turning things around from a 4-6 team to a state championship team. That is one of the hardest states to win in the nation at the big school level there is some pretty good competition. Week in and week out they played (teams) with two, three, four guys who were going to major (problems). There were plenty of challenges along the way and what set him apart is to deliver a ball accurately no matter what the route, being a dig or a deep out or the long ball."

There is another son in the Williams' family as Louis is currently an eighth grader so we'll have to wait and see if he becomes the fourth member of the family to come to Yale. Larry Williams said he will likely enroll at Marquette High in Milwaukee in the fall.

"There's a lot of pressure on him now," Larry Williams said. "He is biggest of the boys, I finally have an offensive linemen out of the group."

Eric Williams certainly fills a need as Yale did not bring in a quarterback last season and have just three QBs on the roster in sophomores John Whitelaw, Henry Furman and Jake Semones.

Williams becomes the 21st known commit and only quarterback.

As I did some checking around, I found some players on Yale's recruiting radar who committed elsewhere including linebacker Tyler Drake, the brother of Yale defensive end Dylan Drake, who committed to Penn, and offensive lineman Jake Eldenkramp, who is going to Washington.

I have a bunch of e-mails and calls out there so hopefully I'll be able to bring more recruiting updates in the next couple of days.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, a positive and good story about Yale football.. Oh boy.. what a few months it has been.. a bit embarrassing for many..

8:13 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we be a tiny bit concerned about committing to another QB recruit with a helicopter dad, who apparently chose Yale in part because he thinks he can start right away as a freshman?

11:10 AM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

This "helicopter dad" also sent his two oldest sons to Yale.

As for available playing time, it is a part of the recruiting process. The fact is that he has an opportunity to compete for a starting position right away and there's nothing wrong with a family being excited about that possibility.

I would have no concern about the motives of a family who has sent or is sending three sons to Yale.

11:27 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every recruit at every school is told he has a "chance" to compete as a freshmen. Simply by showing up at the first practice you are now "competing" for playing time against all the others. How long the "competition" lasts, well that's another story altogether....

4:40 PM 

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