PHENIX CITY, Ala. – Clemson has long felt like home for E.J. Williams, and on Saturday, the four-star wide receiver made things official when he announced his commitment to the Tigers during a ceremony at Central High School in Phenix City, Ala.
The Clemson Insider was on hand for Williams’ announcement ceremony, during which he discussed his college decision and more.
“Really just the first time I stepped on campus, just that home atmosphere,” Williams said of his reasoning for choosing Clemson. “Just the overall great experience I have there every time I go … and they produce plenty of wide receivers at the NFL level.”
Williams (6-3, 185) pledged to Clemson over offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee and many other schools.
Asked what put the Tigers over the top, Williams said, “Just really knowing that I’d be a lot more comfortable there than other schools.”
Clemson’s coaching staff, including head man Dabo Swinney and co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Jeff Scott, made Williams feel at home in Tigertown. His relationship with Scott was a particularly important factor in his decision.
“I have a great relationship with Coach Scott,” Williams said. “He’s been recruiting me for almost two years now. Great wide receivers coach. A lot of people say he’s one of the greatest wide receivers coach to come through college and things like that, but he’s a great person.”
It’s a special day for Williams, letting the world know where he will play his college ball, and he is glad to be done with the recruiting process.
But what makes this day even more special for Williams is the fact he committed on Aug. 24, the date of his late father’s death.
“I just wanted to honor my father, and I know that he’s looking down on me right now, very proud of what I’m doing,” he said. “He didn’t get to see me play football in pads, but I know he’s looking down watching me, seeing me score all the touchdowns, and he’s proud of me.”
While Williams’ father couldn’t be there in the flesh to watch his son put on a Clemson hat and commit to the Tigers, his mother was there beside him and naturally got emotional as she watched the ceremony unfold.
Well over a dozen other family members were also present to watch Williams commit, including some relatives who made the trip from Jacksonville, Fla.
“I am just so proud of my son because no one knows everything he has went through to get to this point,” she said. “It’s tough not having your father, and I try having my brothers and my sisters there to support us. They’re always here to support us – they’re out here now. But it means everything, and I’m so proud of him. So proud of our family, but I’m so proud of him.”
Williams’ sister, an outstanding athlete herself, is very happy for him as well and knows he will be in good hands at Clemson.
“Obviously it’s exciting to watch someone that you’ve seen come through diapers, to grow up to be so much bigger than you,” she said. “And then just to see him become the young man that he is and to be so humble, yet so incredibly talented, and just do the things that he’s done so far — I’m beyond proud to say that I’m his little sister.
“To see him on this day, make such a life-changing decision and be so grown about it, be an adult, it’s amazing. I know that Clemson’s going to continue to develop him and turn him into an even better man.”
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