First posted at Inside The Shoe
The 2012 recruiting class took a huge momentum shift nationally, when Urban Meyer raced into the picture for Ohio State. Enough cannot be said about how Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel continued to recruit, and recruit well. Before Meyer came onto the coaching staff, Fickell had wrapped up 9 recruits on his own, and had picked up some pretty decent players.
Once Urban stepped in though, the bar was set a couple of feet higher. Recruits are gaining interest fast, and now are taking a serious look at where they stand.
Now another recruit has joined the mix, and we didn't have to wait long to hear from another star prospect.
That prospect is Camren Williams of West Roxbury (MA) Catholic Memorial. Williams, a 6-2/200 linebacker, is a four star recruit that is currently committed to Penn State. He the brother of current UNC offensive lineman Brennan Williams.
We talked with Camren on Tuesday night, and he gave us the latest info on his recruitment and thoughts on Ohio State.
With the NCAA releasing the sanctions on Ohio State, what are your thoughts on that? Does it affect your recruitment at all?
No, not really, 3 scholarships per year for the next 3 years is not a big deal. The whole, "losing 1 bowl" isn't really a big deal either. The sanctions don't really affect my recruitment at all, I feel the same way about Ohio State as I did before.
When you learned of Ohio State hiring Urban Meyer, what was your initial reaction?
My first reaction was remembering him as the Utah coach, and also at Florida obviously, he was always successful, no matter where he was coaching at. Now that he's at Ohio State, they are going to be a very successful team. That was really the first thing.
How much contact has Ohio State had with you since the hiring of Urban?
A lot. They've definitely contacted me. Coach Vrabel, at the point in time when they could recruit as much as they wanted, Coach Vrabel, Coach Fickell, and Coach Meyer were calling (me) every day. They would inbox me on Facebook, and wanted me to come down and take a visit to Ohio State. Without a doubt Ohio State has been the school that's contacted me the most.
When you went on your visit to Ohio State on the 11th, how did that visit go in your opinion?
It went well. I got to see a lot of different things, all the facilities and the campus. I got to spend a lot of time with Ryan Shazier, and Josh Perry who's another recruit in my class. I got a good feel of what Ohio State is like and got to see a lot of stuff that I enjoyed.
You met Ryan Shazier and Josh Perry. What were those guys like, and did they try and persuade you to go to Ohio State?
Josh did a bit, he's kind of been trying to talk to me, been in my ear a little bit. Ryan was just giving me truth, he was telling me what it's like. He knows what it's like to be there (at OSU) and he's been successful, had a great freshman year and was just really talking to me about why he chose Ohio State over the many options that he had to choose from.
What schools are still in contention in your recruitment? Does anyone have an edge right now?
Honestly, it's just between Penn State and Ohio State. I have offers from 15 or so other schools, but it's 100% down to those two schools. As of right now, no one really has an edge, honestly, because of the whole Penn State situation and not knowing who the head coach will be. So once Penn State gets their coach and everything settled down, it will be a lot easier to try and decide which school I will choose.
Right now, I'm committed to Penn State and sitting tight with them until I see what happens. Once they announce the head coach, and the situation settles down, I'll be able to make an educated decision between the schools and which place is best for me. That's where I'm at.
Are you taking any visits that are upcoming soon?
I'm going to take my official visit to Penn State in January, and then take another visit to Ohio State later on that January.
There have been a lot of great linebackers that have come through both schools. With you playing linebacker at the next level, what does that kind of history and legacy mean to you?
It's definitely huge. Just being apart of that kind of legacy and looking at the players that have played at Ohio State like A.J. Hawk, Laurinaitis and all those guys, it's just really cool to be associated with that.
The same goes for Penn State, with being "Linebacker U". Both schools really have a great history of linebackers. While it doesn't give either school a edge, it's really important to me and to be a part of that is really cool.
What are your thoughts on all the other recruits that have recently committed or gained interest in Ohio State? Do you think it affects your decision at all?
Yeah, I mean I talk to Noah Spence every week, texting him all the time, talking about recruiting and everything. So I would say it plays a role in my decision. Obviously I want great players around me, in order to be the best linebacker that I can be, I not only have to work hard individually, but having great defensive linemen in front of me to take blocks by the offensive linemen and creating pressure. Your (Adolphus) Washingtons', your Tommy Schutts', your Noah Spences' in front of you is definitely a huge asset to have on the team but I'm confident that Penn State would do the same, bringing great players around me as well.
What is something that isn't known very much about you, that you think you do very well?
When I was younger, I was getting recruited as a safety, so I'm athletic enough to cover the field, and stay on a slot receiver and running back. I'm 220 (lbs) and a linebacker and made 119 tackles in 9 games this year, so I'm kind of a hybrid player. I have really good pass coverage with my athleticism and my mobility, and can make plays on running backs as well. That's my best attribute for sure.
When will you be announcing your decision?
I'll probably make my decision on Signing Day. I will definitely be waiting until after both of my visits at Ohio State and at Penn State. Coach Meyer is also supposed to come sometime in late January as well, so I'm going to let everything happen, let everything unfold and learn as much as I can about both schools. I'm going to make the best that best fits me and my abilities.
Is there anything you'd like to say to Buckeye Nation in particular?
There's always going to be rumors that Ohio State (in my recruitment) is viewed as a "Plan B" but I'm definitely interested in going there. OSU is not my "Plan B" and that's not the case. I'm very interested in the school, the program, and I really see a lot of promise in that program. I'm excited about looking into (OSU) it more and coming up with a decision that best fits me.