Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Continuing Recruiting Quest of Willie Wiliams

He visits U of F and isn't impressed. Didn't get quite the royal treatment he got at FSU and Miami. I wonder if the NCAA is reading his account...

From the Miami Herald:

Rejecting the Gators was easier. Before his trip, Williams said he had heard lots of good things about coach Ron Zook. But after a few days in Gainesville, Williams said he was turned off.

On Friday, he and Carol City teammate Akeem Robinson boarded a private jet and arrived in Gainesville at 5 p.m.

Upon arrival, the two were greeted by the Florida coaching staff and whisked away to a dinner party at Alumni Hall. Williams ate swedish meatballs but passed on gator tails.

''I ate so many meatballs, the people there started looking like meatballs,'' Williams said. 'Some guy kept trying to get me to eat these alligator tails, but I wasn't having it. I told him `I'm not the Crocodile Hunter.' I don't touch reptiles.''

After dinner, Williams and other recruits were taken to an on-campus beauty pageant.

''They had girls come out, all dressed nice, but it took awhile,'' Williams said. ``It was a weird beauty pageant because there were some people talking about black history the whole time. Then it got worse. They had guy models come out.''

Williams was then dropped off at The Hilton. His hotel room wasn't as nice as the the Paradise Suite in Coconut Grove, but it did come with a special touch.

''There was Gatorade all over the place,'' Williams said. 'I was like `I get it. Gatorade was made at Florida.' ''

The following morning, the recruits toured campus and met with the Florida coaching staff. Later that night, Williams said he was surprised to learn he was eating at the stadium again for dinner.

''The first night I was OK with eating at the stadium,'' Williams said. 'But when they told me were going to eat there again, I was a little disappointed. I was like, `Take us to Red Lobster or something.' Instead, it was the same old fried chicken.

``That's when I pretty much made up my mind. I can't live in a place that don't have any restaurants. What am I going to do -- fly home to eat shrimp?''

Later that night, Williams ran into a few familiar faces at a frat party -- UM cornerback Travarous Bain and UM receiver Darnell Jenkins. Both were in Gainesville for a track meet.

''I was happy to see those guys,'' Williams said. 'They were like, `So Willie, are you going to stay up with these farm people or come home with us?' I told them, 'I'll let you know on Wednesday.' ''