Less than three years ago, tight end Blake Williams’ body was numb and he wasn’t able to eat, sleep or breathe on his own as a battle with dysautonomia sidelined him from not just the game he loves, but from life, for several months.
After a miraculous recovery that has been well-documented, Williams is on the bubble of becoming a big-time recruit in the 2017 class and already holds seven offers.
“Many people with this illness, they kind of play the victim card,” Williams told Today’s U. “That’s what I did for a while, then one day, I was by myself and said, ‘Forget this, I’m done playing the victim card. My God is bigger than this and I’m going to overcome it.’ ”
Williams overcame it and had a strong senior season at Mustang (Okla.) High School last year and earned scholarship offers from North Carolina and Illinois for the 2016 recruiting class, but decided to reclassify shortly after signing day and will enroll at St. Catharines (ON) Canada Prep Football Academy for this fall.
— Blake Williams (@Blake_Hogan_) February 13, 2016
“I wasn’t satisfied with those offers,” Williams said. “The reason I’m reclassifying is to show them that I am in fact healthy and that I’m one of the best athletes at my position in the country.”
The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder now holds offers from Maryland, Rutgers, North Carolina, Illinois, Syracuse, Arkansas State and Central Michigan and schools from all over the country have expressed interest.
“I’ve had multiple schools,” he said. “I’ve been talking to TCU, Texas, Baylor, Alabama, Arkansas, UCLA, Oregon, I’ve talked to Kansas State a little bit, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss a little bit. There are others, off the top of my head those are the ones that come to mind.
“I’m definitely blessed by all of my offers by what I’ve overcome. I can’t take any of it for granted, but I’m not going to put all of my marbles into one basket without taking a visit, meeting the coaching staff and seeing the campus. I’m not going to make any rash decisions.”
When Williams gets all moved and settled in Canada, he plans to unofficially visit Syracuse and Maryland. Being closer to Big Ten country, he’s also hoping a few conference powers stop by to evaluate him.
“Definitely I’d have to say Michigan, Ohio State and hopefully Penn State,” he said. “Those are schools I’ve come into contact with and my coach has connections with them. Hopefully they will come up and visit, check me out and I can get a scholarship from there.”
Going the prep route will essentially give Williams another year of high school ball so colleges can further evaluate him, then he will become a spring enrollee in the 2017 class.
“I’m going to go up there and do that for this next semester and get more scholarships and proceed for there,” Williams said.
Coaches love Williams’ rare combination of size and speed, so with a big year in the prep ranks, don’t be surprised if Williams’ stock blows up.
“They like the speed I have, my 4.5 40 and my 4.1 shuttle and my route running,” Williams said. “A lot of them say I’m a tight end, but more like a big receiver at 6-foot-4 230. They like that I can spread out and play receiver as well. That’s what most of the coaches that have talked to me have said about my game so much.”
Being a mid-year guy, Williams window in making a college decision gets smaller by the day, but at these point he’s still welcoming everything that comes his way.
“I’m just looking for the opportunity to have someone invite me with a scholarship an opportunity to go in and show me their school and see what they have to offer,” Williams said.
“I’m a big man in faith and I follow convictions. I don’t have a timetable, I’m just going to follow the convictions God puts on my heart. I don’t have a set schedule of when I’ll have a top five or when I’ll commit, it’ll come in due time and when the time is right, that’s when I’ll do it.”