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Louisiana Safety Derek Williams Talks LSU Football Offer, Receiving Advice From Former Teammate Kayshon Boutte

New Iberia native had feeling offer was coming, surprised nonetheless
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Derek Williams doesn't have to go to far for advice about his recruitment. Williams, who is starting to catch the eyes of programs across the country, only has to text teammate, longtime friend and LSU freshman receiver Kayshon Boutte whenever he wants to talk.

Boutte and Williams were teammates at Westgate High School a year ago, Boutte the established senior receiver who was already committed to the purple and gold, and Williams the wide eyed freshman safety trying to make an impact early.

"We'd go head to head at practice and most of the time during practice they'd put me at corner to guard him so it was a great experience for me," Williams said. 

Williams picked up an offer from the Tigers on Aug. 20 but he already had a sneaking suspicion that it was coming based off a conversation he'd had with Boutte in the days leading up to it. 

"He knew I was going to get that offer," Williams said. "We talked after I got the offer and I really do think he knew they were giving me the offer. The day before he texted me and congratulated me on the rankings coming out and just said 'It's coming.'"

The New Iberia, Louisiana native couldn't have been more excited to receive an offer from the in-state team after bursting onto the scene as a freshman. Williams has earned offers from Division I programs like Mississippi State, Colorado and Virginia over the last few weeks with plenty of other top notch programs showing great interest. 

"It was really exciting because my freshman year I didn't really start the first few games of the season," Williams said. "I only played in like six games so it's really exciting to get these offers with not so much film or experience yet."

In those six games, Williams thinks his big hits and playmaking ability are the main reasons he's getting all of this attention. Williams attributes his early success and extended playing time to his hard work and dedication in practice which helped earned the coaching staff's trust.

Once he broke onto the field, Williams said he had a knack as a freshman for making big plays in the fourth quarter during crunch time which helped his confidence only grow throughout the season.

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Already standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 185 pounds, Williams points to his versatility to play free safety and also move closer to the line of scrimmage as the major strength in his game at this time. 

"I just love being aggressive," Williams said. "I love playing over the top where I can go get the ball. When they put me at cornerback or on the line I just really get that itch to make big plays, whether it be picks or sacks."

Williams was recently among the top-100 prospects ranked by 247Sports but isn't letting the early attention get to his head. He knows how important this offseason was for his development and worked tirelessly to improve in a variety of areas. 

"I really worked on getting out of my breaks quicker, my technique and I'm also going to start playing receiver this year as well so I've been working on that," Williams said. 

The positions go hand in hand for Williams, who knows how a safety thinks when studying up on the opposing receivers. As a freshman, Williams would always try to find the best receiver on the other team and stick to that side of the field more times than not.

"I read the quarterback's elbow and which side he's looking to throw the ball on," Williams said. "I mainly shift over to the best receiver’s side because that's where the ball is going to nine times out of 10."

Though he has always lived in Louisiana, Williams never had a favorite college team, he just loved watching football. LSU was always one of the teams on his TV and even went to games in Tiger Stadium, the last of which was the purple and gold's 42-28 win over Florida. 

Players like Tyrann Mathieu and most recently Grant Delpit and Derek Stingley are players he enjoys watching. Stingley in particular catches Williams' eye because of his pristine technique that has already developed.

"I studied his film a lot because he was a freshman to last year," Williams said. "I looked at his technique like, the way he plays the cornerback position, always aggressive yet in control, is what I love about his game. Then you also got the Honey Badger who likes hitting and I love hitting to."

Now the rising sophomore will focus on winning a state championship and knows the offers will continue to come with his success on the field.