October 5, 2012

Verbal Watch: Erie's Williams ready to decide?

SpartanMag.com has issued a commitment watch for the next 72 hours on Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep defensive back recruit Delton Williams, effective for the entire SpartanMag.com viewing area.

Williams, ranked the No. 19 player in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com, has indicated that he plans to make a decision between Michigan State and West Virginia by the end of the week.

Williams told SpartanMag.com's Matt Dorsey via text on Thursday that he plans to make a decision this weekend. He said he would not make the decision until after Friday night's rivalry game against Erie McDowell.

Williams told Dorsey he will not have a formal press conference. He will inform coaches on his own.

Williams took an unofficial visit to Michigan State last weekend for the Ohio State game, along with Terry.

Terry Tweeted late on Thursday night that Michigan State had received great news, and then deleted the Tweet.

As of Thursday night, there were still questions about Michigan State's scholarship availability. Even Williams' high school coach, Mike Mischler, has questions.

"He (Williams) hasn't told them (Michigan State) anything like, 'Hey, I'm committing,'" Mischler said on Thursday night. "So if he (Williams) says, 'Hey, I want to be a Spartan,' it is going to be up to them to say, 'Yeah, we have room.' We'll all know at that point in time. Until then, I don't know."

Michigan State offered a scholarship to Williams during the summer. Michigan State has subsequently grown thin on scholarship slots for the 2013 recruiting class, due to other verbal commitments.

When asked if the Michigan State's scholarship offer is still on the table for Williams, Mischler said: "I don't know. I can't confirm that for sure. At one point, I knew it was. I think they need to clarify with Delton or I so that he has an understanding of what's going on there.

"They (Michigan State) haven't told me that the offer is off the table, so I don't know why it would be."

But Williams apparently came back from Michigan State not completely sure of scholarship availability, according to Mischler's indications.

Meanwhile, Williams is increasingly excited about Michigan State.

"I think he would like to make a decision here," Mischler said. "With the recruiting process moved up so much, a lot of the scholarship positions get taken up by the early commitments and he has to understand as well that he might not be able to go on all these official visits if he waits."

When asked if it's premature to expect a decision from Williams this weekend, Mischler said:

"I'm not sure it's premature," he said. "A lot of things happen in the recruiting process that may interrupt that kind of thinking. I'll be honest; Michigan State has a lot of commits and I think we have to figure out whether or not they still have room for his position and the type of player he is. I think that's the one concern.

"They haven't told me that there isn't room, but I do know it's tight. These are good people at Michigan State and if he wants to do it, I think they would tell him one way or another at that time."

Williams was impressed with his visit to Michigan State last weekend. He also visited in the summer, and Mischler drove Terry and Williams to the MSU-Wisconsin game in East Lansing last year for "The Rocket" Hail Mary game.

"I think it was a great visit for him last weekend," said Mischler, who was not with the players this time. "I think they would have liked to have seen a win, but they (Michigan State) played Ohio State extremely tough.

"They (Williams and Terry) got to spend some time with the coaches before the game, and after the game. But it's game day and the coaches have a lot of things going on so the interaction had to be kind of brief. But they both had a very good visit.

"Damion came back even more convinced that it's the right place for him. Delton came back with a great attitude about the place as well."

As for West Virginia, Mischler said Williams has not visited that school recently.

"If anything, he has been much more interested in the Michigan State thing," Mischler said. "I think he wants to go down to the Oklahoma-West Virginia game, but he won't go there if he commits (to Michigan State). You don't commit and keep looking. That's one thing we make clear to the guys."

Williams has offers from Michigan State, West Virginia, Nebraska, Boston College, Duke, Pitt, Penn State and others.

"He has 18 offers," Mischler said. "He has a ton of people coming after him. I think he is trying to cut it down and just get things settled.

Williams, Terry Shine Friday Night

Williams helped Erie Cathedral Prep to a 41-27 victory over crosstown rival Erie McDowell, Friday night. Williams had a 21-yard TD pass from MSU commitment Damion Terry, and an 85-yard TD run. Erie Cathedral (6-0) is ranked the No. 1 team in the state in AAA.

Terry threw three TD passes.

Heading into Friday's game, Terry had thrown 19 TD passes and only 1 interception, with 1,328 yards. He has also run for 5 TDs while completing 74 percent of his passes.

"I would describe his season so far as unbelievable," Mischler said. "I have sent about 100 kids to college football and I have never had a kid like this at the quarter back just as far as a true quarterback, the field presence, the arm strength, the mobility, the decision making. He is just having a phenomenal season at this point."

Terry has been pulled at or soon after halftime in four games, due to blowouts. Last week he set a school record with TD passes in a game with five, and threw them all in the first half.

"I'm very happy with his commitment to Michigan State but with the way he has developed I think everybody in the country would have offered him if he were still available. But we are real happy with the Spartans, and Coach Dantonio and their staff. I think he fits perfectly there."

Why is he a perfect fit?

"We run a spread, and I think he can do that very efficiently but I think he is a pro-style quarterback," Mischler said. "Coach Warner does a great job. I think Damion is somebody who could develop in a pro style system and really flourish. I think having the experience of having run a spread offense for three years will be very much to his benefit as he gets into a system where he's able to run a little more play-action and do some things we don't do a lot of. It's just going to make him better."

Warner watched Erie Cathedral Prep's 69-0 victory over Athol Springs (N.Y.) St. Francis on Sept. 21.

"He (Warner) texted me afterward and said he's very excited about Damion and that he had a blast," Mischler said. "They are really high on his character, the kind of kid he is. They like him a lot and they think he fits their mold."

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