April 2, 2013

Mizzou Growing on Williams

Sometimes good news comes when you least expect it. At least that's how things went down for Lee's Summit West running back Ryan Williams.

When Missouri offered the 2015 running back a scholarship back in February, it came on an otherwise bad day for Williams.

"I was actually home sick from school that day," Williams recalled. "Coach Pinkel called up [Lee's Summit West] Coach Boehm and Coach Boehm called me into school. He said there's a phone call that's pretty important."

Williams dragged himself into school and picked up the phone. That's when Gary Pinkel extended a scholarship offer.

"I could barely talk," Williams said. "I had strep throat, but it was exciting. That's a big offer right there, being in the SEC and everything."

Shortly after that phone call, Williams visited Columbia for Missouri's Junior Day and was offered his scholarship in person. Since then, he's stayed in regular contact with Mizzou's staff.

"I talk to Coach [Andy] Hill a lot," Williams said. "I talk to Coach Pinkel. They make me feel at home."

Like so many other Mizzou recruits, Williams mentioned the "family atmosphere" around the Tiger program.

"[Lee's Summit] West football and Mizzou are the exact same program," Williams said. "They're like the exact same thing. The players are like brothers and the coaches really make you feel welcome."

Although he's hearing a lot from Mizzou, Pinkel and company aren't the only ones after Williams. He's added offers from Northern Illinois and Northern Iowa and is also hearing from a host of BCS conference schools like Arkansas, Kansas, and Kansas State.

Williams has grown up in Missouri. He spent some time in St. Louis before his family moved to the Kansas City metro area. Despite those ties, he's grown up as a fan of one of Missouri's new SEC rivals.

"I grew up an Arkansas fan mostly," Williams said. "I have a lot of family that lived down there and I've been down for games and all that."

However, the home state school is making up ground.

"Mizzou's grown on me a lot since they've been recruiting me," he said. Plus, Williams' mother is a Missouri fan.

"She's a big Mizzou fan, so of course she wants me to stay away from Kansas," Williams said with a laugh. "But really, she's just happy that my school will be paid for and she wants what's best for me."

As Williams' recruitment picks up, he discusses things with his good friend and high school teammate, Logan Cheadle, another prospect Mizzou has offered. But when it comes to the criteria for picking a school, Williams needs no help.

"I'm going to look at the style of offense and who else they're recruiting at my position," the 6-foot, 180 lb. recruit said. "I mean, I'm a running back, I want the ball."

Ideally, Williams said he will commit to a school in the summer before his senior year, which is still more than a year away. PowerMizzou.com will keep you updated on his recruitment.

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