Holiday season could be jolly for Fulton’s Daeron Williams

Holiday season could be jolly for Fulton’s Daeron Williams
Tis the season to be jolly for Fulton City’s Daeron Williams.
The phenomenal Bulldog running back, whose prep career came to an end over a month ago in the second round of the KHSAA state playoffs, is being courted to play college football.
And there are several suitors for the versatile Williams, who rushed for 1,806 yards this past season and pulled double-duty for FC, recording 60 tackles as a defensive back.
Kentucky, Arkansas State, Murray State, Eastern Kentucky and UT Martin have all expressed interested in the 6-foot-1 superstar, according to Fulton City’s head coach Wayne Lohaus. The University of Tennessee has also placed a call to inquire about Williams.
However, at this time, the gridiron star is concentrating on tackling the textbooks and scoring an academic touchdown on a college entrance exam.
“Right now, Daeron is working on his ACT score and his grades,” said Lohaus, who also serves as the school’s guidance counselor. “However, we would like to have him ready to sign with a school by January or February.
“He just took the test (ACT) again in December and we’re hopeful that his score will be up to par.”
On the gridiron, Williams rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of the past three seasons, accumulating a total of 4,120 yards during his career as a member of the Bulldogs’ football team.
During the 2007 season, Williams led the team in rushing yards, points scored (206), touchdowns (32), carries (160), receiving yards (180) and receptions (eight).
Furthermore, he passed for three touchdowns and 153 yards.
With all that considered, however, he is not projected to be recruited heavily as a running back.
“Daeron may be too small to be a running back at the college level,” Lohaus said. “However, he’s received a lot of interest as both a wide receiver and a defensive back and he’s got the hands to be great at either position.”
Williams echoes that philosophy.
“I think the reason why they’re looking at me as a defensive back is because the running backs are so big in college,” Williams said. “I know and they know that with my speed and slender build that I would make an ideal safety or cornerback.
“It will be a transition, though. I didn’t see a whole lot of passing teams in high school. So, I am going to have to learn to defend the pass better as a defensive back instead of just making downfield tackles.”
While Williams’ skills are not in question, it remains to be seen if he can make the transition to the quicker college game.
“I think he will be a good college player,” Lohaus boasts. “He’s matured a lot over the past two years, both physically and mentally and he’s still young. I mean, he just turned 17 in August. I can see a good transition to the college game for him.
“I do see him sitting out a year, though. With him being so much younger than some of the incoming freshmen, he’s probably not going to be able to walk right in and set the world on fire.”
Again, Williams is on the same page as his coach of the past six football seasons (two in junior high and four in high school).
“College ball is going to be a whole lot quicker,” Williams concurred. “There won’t be a weak guy on the other team that you know you can take advantage of and beat or step in front of for an easy interception.
“It’s going to be the best compeition on the field each week.”
Williams has yet to take any campus visits. However, he did tell The Messenger that he is planning to take a tour of Kentucky’s campus early next year and he has said that location will not play a role in his decision of where to play college football.
“I don’t care if I play in Lexington (Ky.) or in Martin,” Williams exclaimed. “What it all boils down to is that I want to play football at the next level.”
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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