The plan all along for Malik Williams was to visit Nebraska at some point and commit to the Cornhuskers.
The order of that plan, like so many attempts at being orderly during the coronavirus pandemic, changed recently, prompting Williams, a class of 2021 defensive back, to announce his verbal commitment to the Huskers on Tuesday.
"It was actually yesterday, I got on the phone with (secondary coach Travis) Fisher and (head coach Scott) Frost and I told Coach Frost that I wanted to be a Cornhusker," Williams told the Journal Star on Tuesday. "He got so hyped about it."
"Coach Fisher and Coach Frost have been getting with me every day, and I think that really (convinced) me. Some of the other colleges weren't really hitting my line as much, but Nebraska's been hitting me up the most."
It's not just the contact, though, that pushed Williams to want to commit to Nebraska. He will get the chance to suit up alongside Buford High classmate and 2021 running back Gabe Ervin in college at NU.
Williams’ recruitment might have been flying under the radar up until last month, but that essentially changed when Ervin, one of his closest friends, pulled the trigger and committed to Nebraska. In fact, Williams was at Ervin’s house until just before the running back announced his college choice.
The next day, he told the Journal Star where his recruitment stood in plain terms.
“Nebraska’s been hitting me up the most and I talk to the coaches, like, every day,” Williams said in mid-June. “Coach Fisher, he’s a laid-back guy. He likes to talk a lot, which I like because I like to talk a lot as well. He’s real cool. … He tells me a lot about the league and how it goes and how I can make it there.”
Thanks to the following for pushing me: @dareu_i @leanthonywilli3 @Coach_Davis22 @CoachTFisher @CoachBeckton @coach_frost @HuskerFBNation @SeanDillonNU @kiaporter80 @leanthonywilliamsjr @buford_football @BufordGAPrspcts @ChadSimmons_ @247Sports @Rivals @hjp_ii pic.twitter.com/KzUxNxlVl2— Malik Williams (@malik112201) July 21, 2020
Williams has other connections to the Huskers, too. His older brother, Clemson defensive back LeAnthony Williams, attended Westlake High in Atlanta where he would have been in the same program as NU redshirt freshman defensive back Myles Farmer. Farmer and Malik are close friends, too.
“I’ve known Myles since I was like 6, I would say. We’ve trained together a lot,” Williams said. “That’s like my brother, so we talk a lot and he tells me a lot of stuff about Nebraska. He tells me it’s like family there and they treat their players right.
“They keep up with everybody. … He’s told me a lot about them and that’s really how I got in to them.”
So what happened when Williams told Farmer his college plans?
"Myles was excited, I could hear it in his voice," Williams said. "Myles, he's serious all the time. But when I told him I was committing to Nebraska, I heard it in his voice. He's really excited."
Playing with both of them in college, Williams said, is an exciting proposition.
"It's going to be great and I literally can't wait," he said. "It's all I've been thinking about. It's going to be phenomenal."
Williams told the Journal Star that the other suitors in his recruitment included Kentucky, Mississippi, Florida and Florida State, among others. At 6 feet and 170 pounds, Williams is considered a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports. He is the 14th known verbal pledge for Nebraska and the third defensive back to commit this month, joining Lardarius Webb Jr. (Jackson, Mississippi) and Marques Buford (Cedar Hill, Texas).
|Koby Bretz||ATH||Omaha (Westside)||***|
|Marques Buford||DB||Oakdale, Conn. (St. Thomas More)||***|
|Gabe Ervin||RB||Buford, Ga.||***|
|Thomas Fidone||TE||Council Bluffs, Iowa (Lewis Central)||****|
|Mikai Gbayor||LB||Irvington, New Jersey||***|
|Kamonte Grimes||WR||Naples, Fa. (Palmetto Ridge)||***|
|Heinrich Haarberg||QB||Kearney (Catholic)||***|
|Shawn Hardy II||WR||Kingsland, Ga. (Camden County)||***|
|Henry Lutovsky||OL||Mt. Pleasant, Iowa||***|
|Randolph Kpai||ILB||Sioux Falls, S.D. (Washington)||****|
|Seth Malcom||ILB||Tabor, Iowa (Fremont-Mills)||***|
|Latrell Neville||WR||Missouri City, Texas (Hightower)||****|
|Patrick Payton||OLB||Miami, Fla. (Northwestern)||***|
|Teddy Prochazka||OT||Elkhorn (South)||****|
|A.J. Rollins||TE||Creighton Prep||***|
|Lardarius Webb Jr.||CB||Jackson, Miss. (Jackson Academy)||***|
|Malik Williams||DB||Buford, Ga.||***|
|Branson Yager||OT||Grantsville, Utah||***|
Contact the writer at email@example.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.
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