The recruiting buzz surrounding Christian Williams could be best described as almost nonexistent following the 2012 football season.
The college interest letters were limited at best, recruiting publications rated him as a two-star prospect and he was virtually invisible in the eyes of certain coaches during prep prospect camps.
Clearly, it wasn’t the way Williams, a 6-foot-1, 315-pound offensive lineman, envisioned his status being heading into the offseason of his senior campaign.
Williams basically changed his destiny overnight behind one performance. It was at the Atlanta Nike Football Training Camp where Williams turned himself into one of the hottest and most intriguing prospects in the region.
“I went up there, and I could tell that I was an underrated player,” Williams said of the April 13 camp. “You know coaches have their favorites and stuff, but by the time we got to one-on-ones, I was ready to show them what I really can do.”
Ridge View’s Chris Redmond, a 361-pound defensive tackle from South Carolina, ended up being the unfortunate player Williams made an example of.
“They called him bone crusher,” the Wetumpka guard said. “I actually pancaked (a term for flattening someone) him three times in a row. I lost one rep, but I came back and beat him twice, and ever since then, it’s been a lot going on.”
Not only did Williams earn offensive lineman MVP, but it also opened the recruiting floodgates.
Jacksonville State, Georgia Southern, West Alabama, Furman and South Alabama have already jumped on the bandwagon with scholarship offers, while higher-profile programs like Auburn, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech continue to show considerable interest.
“This feels good, I really don’t know how to explain it,” said Williams, a two-year starter who squatted 555 recently. “I am blessed.”
Williams — who’s rating has since been bumped up to 3½ stars –didn’t receive one single offer prior to the Atlanta camp.
“The whole experience has been overwhelming, but it also has been exciting,” he said. “I heard from a lot of coaches after the dead period, and had a lot of teams come watch me during spring training.”
Prior to heading up for the Nike camp, Williams spent several weeks preparing intensely with former Wetumpka standout Bill Ross. An All-SWAC linebacker at Arkansas Pine-Bluff last season, Ross had returned to the area to gear up for several upcoming NFL workouts.
The 17-year-old lineman was all business, no games.
“That’s what I liked about him,” said Ross, who led the SWAC with 127 tackles last season. “A lot of the other kids are not doing anything, but he was out there with me working hard. He definitely has the determination — that’s one thing I really respect about him.
“I do believe he’s going to have a good college career. I’ve seen his film, and I’ve been really impressed.”