DAVIE, Fla.—To show his love for the University of Alabama football program, Xavier Williams paused a conversation with a reporter on Sunday so he could put on his new gloves, which come complete with the Crimson Tide logo.
Now that’s glove love.
Williams, a 6-1, 185-pound wide receiver ranked the No. 2 ATH in the nation, lets his hands do the talking on the field, too.
He caught 10 touchdown passes and had 866 yards in receptions as a junior this past season, leading Chaminade (Hollywood, Fla.) to the Class 3A state final for the first time since 2005.
Yet some recruiting experts are predicting Williams will ultimately sign with the Miami Hurricanes while Chaminade teammate Shaun Shivers is trying to take his buddy with him to the Tide’s arch-rival, Auburn.
“War Eagle, man,” Shivers said at Nike’s The Opening football camp at the Miami Dolphins practice facility at Nova Southeastern University. “We’re going to make him flip to Auburn.”
Williams laughed off the suggestion.
“They’re trying to,” said Williams, who is determined to be the next great South Florida wide receiver to sign with Alabama, an impressive list that already includes NFL star Amari Cooper, Tide standout Calvin Ridley and incoming freshman Jerry Jeudy. “But I’m solid right now. Everything is solid.”
Williams has more than 40 college scholarship offers, and he showed why on Sunday, when he was among the first 12 athletes to earn invitations to The Opening finals in Oregon this summer.
Shivers, a 5-7 running back, wasn’t on that list of 12 invitees, but he is immensely talented as well. He finished second in the state last year in the 100-meter dash, and he put up huge numbers on the football field, beating out Williams for Player of the Year honors in Broward County.
For the season, Shivers rushed for 1,569 yards and 20 touchdowns. He had 140 yards in the state title game, going 80 yards for a score on his first touch.
“We will get back to state this year,” said Shivers, who rushed for a stunning 760 yards in four playoff games, including a 24-13 loss to Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian in the final. “We still have a lot to prove as a program.”
With two dynamic talents such as Williams and Shivers, it would be a shame, in a certain way, if they won’t be able to be teammates past this season.
But if they do stay true to their current college commitments – which are not binding until February 2018 – Shivers seems sure he knows what will happen at the next level.
“It’s going to fun beating up Xavier in the Iron Bowl for three or four years,” Shivers said. “We’re going to beat them every year.”