As a heavily recruited prospect, Phenix City (Ala.) Central four-star wide receiver E.J. Williams has gotten to know a bunch of college coaches, but none better than Clemson assistant Todd Bates.
Williams told TCI that his bond with Bates “doesn’t really compare” to his relationships with other coaches.
Why is that? Well, their relationship runs deeper than just football.
Sadly, Williams’ father passed away when he was eight years old, and Bates has connected with Williams through similar emotional pain.
“He understands a lot of the things I go through with my father because he lost a loved one very close to him too and we have a great bond,” Williams said.
As far as recruiting Williams, Bates has done a good job of that as well. He traveled to Central High last Thursday to watch Williams play in his team’s spring game and catch four passes including a touchdown.
Williams had a chance to talk with Bates over the phone this past weekend, when Bates shared some unfortunate but amusing injury news.
“I talked to him an hour ago (Sunday). He told me how he pulled his hamstring. … He was dancing and did a split,” Williams explained, laughing.
Williams has visited Clemson numerous times since receiving an offer from the Tigers last summer and plans to return for the All In Cookout in July.
Up next for Williams is an official visit to LSU on June 7, then an official visit to Auburn on June 23. He is still planning to make his decision on Aug. 24 to honor his late father on the day he passed away.