Antonio Williams is doing his part to make sure the U.S. Postal Service stays profitable.
College coaches are showering the 5’11”, 210-pound running back with attention.
“A lot of things are going on for me right now,” Williams told ACCSports.com. “There were the 93 letters from Alabama.”
Nick Saban and his staff sent Williams nearly eight dozen letters … in one day. The avalanche of mail arrived on Tuesday and set a personal record for the 4-star junior ball carrier from New London, NC’s North Stanly High.
“The most I’d gotten before was 54 from UNC and 55 from Wisconsin,” he said.
All of which leads to the obvious question: What does one do with 93 letters from the University of Alabama?
“I opened about 15 of them that day,” he told ACCSports.com. “Throughout the week, I’ve been opening more and more of them. Eventually, I’ll get through them all.”
And then what? Do the large bundles of recruiting mail get sent to the recycling bin?
“Oh no,” he answered. “I keep them. One day, I can look back and maybe show my kids how crazy the recruiting process was for me.”
North Carolina, where Williams was verbally committed from September of last year until mid-July, may not have sent the most mail, but they earn points for creativity.
“They actually sent me a movie-board type thing with my head on their uniform,” he said. “The movie was labelled ‘Unstoppable Antonio Williams’, so that was pretty interesting too.”
While most people haven’t gotten 93 letters so far this year, the mail bomb from Alabama wasn’t even the most interesting event of the day in Williams’ recruitment.
Shortly after getting love from the Crimson Tide, Williams received scholarship offers from Auburn and Notre Dame, sending his list of favorites into disarray.
“Auburn changed things a lot,” he said. “That’s the offer I’ve been waiting on since the summer. They’ve always been high on my list, even without that offer. With them offering me, they probably took the lead.”
The Irish also vaulted up Williams’ list. “That one affected me a lot too, coming from a school that’s as historically great as it is. I think they jumped into that top group too.”
Wisconsin, who Williams had previously listed as a favorite, may have seen their prospects of landing him dim with the events of the week. Williams was originally slated to visit the Badgers on October 25. “It had to be pushed back,” Williams said. “Maybe November. Maybe January. I’m not sure.”
Williams is seeing an increase in attention due to his play on the field. He’s averaging 238 rushing yards per game and an eye-popping 13.5 yards per carry. Through six games, he’s produced 18 rushing touchdowns.
In addition to SEC powers Alabama and Auburn, Tennessee is in the mix. Williams visited the Volunteers last weekend. “I liked it,” he said. “I didn’t get to talk to any coaches, because I got there late, but I loved the atmosphere, the stadium, and everything.”
The Gators are also a candidate. “I like what I’ve seen from Florida, too,” he said.
There are also ACC school in the running. In addition to the Tar Heels, Duke has been making a push for Williams. He visited the Blue Devils on September 20. “I really liked Duke,” he said. “It was my first time going around campus and seeing everything. I liked what I heard from Coach Cutcliffe. I really, really liked it.”
Between the mail, the posters, the offers and the visits, Williams isn’t sure how he’ll end up making his college choice. “That’s something I’m still trying to figure out right now,” he said. “That’s why I’m taking my time. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that. It’ll probably come down to the five official visits, but narrowing it down to just five is going to be a challenge, too.”
Williams said that a quality education and the chance to play early are his two main factors. He also wants the chance to play for a national championship and to be listed as a Heisman candidate.
“I don’t really care about distance from home,” he added.
After all, no matter how far he is from home, he can always send a letter … or two.