2020 Tesoro (CA) OL Justin Williams received big news two weeks back when the Miami Hurricanes offered him a preferred walk-on (PWO) spot in their upcoming recruiting class.
“What happened is Travis Roth (football operations) gave me a heads up about something coming through, and then coach (Edwin) Pata contacted me,” Williams said. “(Pata) was telling me coach (Butch) Barry liked me and how they need more guys and they like my film. Then he told me ‘How would you like to be a part of the Hurricanes?’. And I said ‘That’s a wonderful opportunity coach, and I’ll consider it highly.’”
With the Canes looking for any kind of help on their often-maligned OL, it’s clear UM is getting creative in trying to solve their issues on their blocking unit. Now, UM’s search brought them all the way out to the state of California, and Williams says he is intrigued at the thought of becoming a Hurricane and has plans to talk with Barry soon.
“It’s pretty high,” Williams said of his interest in UM. “My main thing right now would be getting out there to see if I would like being out there and like living in Florida. I’ve heard it’s beautiful, but I’d just want to make sure that I could be there for a couple years to play out there… It’s just a very solid program.”
In terms of other programs in contact with Williams right now, he lists Boise State, Colorado State, and Yale as the main three he is gaining interest from. San Diego State, Cal Poly, and Northern Arizona have all offered.
With most of the schools recruiting him located on the West Coast, Williams admits that distance is something in the back of his mind. However, he’d be more than comfortable making his home in South Florida if he visits and feels comfortable.
“I think distance would probably be a factor, but if I could see myself being in Florida and I want to go there, I’ll have no problem going there,” Williams said. “I’ve always had an interest in Florida and the East Coast and just being out there. It just seems like a very attractive place to be and a very attractive team.”
As of now, Williams is playing the waiting game, sending out tape to see if other schools jump in on his talents and offer him. He has no plan to decide any time soon, and will evaluate all his options at the end of the cycle.
“The most important thing for me about football is brotherhood,” Williams said of what he is looking for in a program. “I want to make sure my team is connected both on and off the field. I also want to make sure we’re a team that’s dialed in, that’s passionate about the game.”
While Williams plays tackle for Tesoro, he is being recruited by most programs as a guard, although UM has not yet specified where they like him at.
“I have no issue with that. I played guard sophomore and junior year, so it’s second nature to me," Williams said. "When you’re playing tackle you can use more finesse per se in pass pro, and then guard is mainly hunkering down and getting good body position.”
While the future is never too far off for Williams, he has his sights mainly set on his senior season at Tesoro and improving his game.
“Right now, I’m working on hand work, just hand-fighting in general. It’s always good to have,” Williams said. “I’m actually also working on my center game right now. My game is being aggressive and making sure I will do everything in my power to get the job done.”