As Nebraska gets closer to its annual spring game on April 15, the visitor list continues to grow. One of the more intriguing prospects to announce his intentions to visit Nebraska is Lincoln native Bryson Williams. Williams, a 6-foot-2, 293-pound defensive tackle who attends Lincoln Southeast High School, has seen his recruiting stock rise considerably this spring, as his offer list has grown to 11 schools with Iowa and Air Force joining the chase. As a junior, Williams tallied 58 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Knights, earning second team Super State honors and leading Lincoln Southeast to an 8-2 record in 2016. Williams sat down with Hail Varsity to talk about his recent visits, what he will be looking for when he takes in Memorial Stadium for the first time, and what he will be looking for when deciding on a school.
HV: You are coming off an unofficial visit to Iowa State, where you took in the Cyclones’ spring game. What were your impressions of Ames and the Iowa State football program?
BW: It was great. It was my fourth time in Ames and I really like what’s going on over there. I really like their defensive line coach (Eli Rasheed) and I just like their coaching staff as a whole and what they do.
HV: Would you say that you have a leader or top group of schools right now? Or are you still open to all schools heading into the summer?
BW: I couldn’t name a favorite right now, it’s still a tossup. I like all of the schools that are currently recruiting me; I already mentioned what I like about ISU but I also really like Kansas State and their staff. I would say I’m definitely still open to all schools and don’t have a favorite right now.
HV: Every spring, it seems like one prospect from the state of Nebraska blows up and become a hot commodity on the recruiting trail. This year it seems like you are that guy, receiving eight offers in the past month. How have you handled the transition from being an under-the-radar recruit to a well-known name?
BW: It’s been a crazy transition, I’ve gotten to speak with a bunch of programs that I never thought would talk to me or recruit me. The way I’ve handled it is just trying to keep doing what got me to this point and keep working to improve and get better.
HV: You’ll be attending Nebraska’s spring game on April 15. What is the nature of your relationship with the Nebraska staff and which coach do you talk to most often?
BW: It’s a bit of a complicated situation with Nebraska. I attended their camp last summer and I feel like I played really well there. That was where I met Kenny Wilhite; he is the only coach I have talked to so far. I attended one of their practices as well, but Coach Wilhite wasn’t there so I didn’t get to see him.
HV: What specific things will you be looking at when you go to Nebraska for your visit?
BW: I’m just really going to be trying to get a feel for the place as a whole. The main things I’m looking for in a school is a place that really wants me there and a place that will help me improve myself as a person, student and athlete.
HV: You are a bit of an intriguing prospect because of your versatility, as you excelled at both guard and defensive tackle as a junior. What position are schools recruiting you at and do you have a preference for which position you play?
BW: The majority of schools are looking at me as a defensive tackle right now. I would say that I prefer defensive tackle, but if a school really wants me to play offensive line I’d be willing to do that.
HV: What would you say is your greatest strength on the football field right now?
BW: I would say my greatest strength right now is my quickness and my hand placement. I’ve played basketball my whole life and I really think that has helped my quickness on the football field. I also have really improved my speed during high school; I weigh 293 pounds now but I’m faster than I was when I was 220.
HV: What areas do you believe you still need to work on?
BW: I would say working on going against double teams. I thought I was okay against double teams last year but I want to be great against them as a senior.
HV: Do you have a set timeline for when you want to commit to a school or are you still feeling out all of your options?
BW: I have no set time for when I want to shut things down and commit. I do plan on graduating from high school in January so I can enroll in college next spring, but I don’t have a set time for when I want to commit to a school.
HV: When you do shut things down and choose a school, what do you believe will be the deciding factor?
BW: Just the overall feel of the school and the football program. I want to go somewhere where the coaches really want me; I feel like the worst thing would be to spend four years at a place where you aren’t really wanted. I also will be looking for a family atmosphere and a place where the coaches really care about me as a person and want to help me improve.