EXCLUSIVE: Four-Star Recruit Donovan Williams Discusses OSU and Recruiting Process

Zach Lancaster

STILLWATER – Mike Boynton and Co. are hard at work trying to fill the remaining two spots in the 2020 class. They picked up a commitment from four-star wing Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe over the weekend and are looking to try and add four-star guard Donovan Williams out of North Star in Lincoln, NE.

Williams is a 6-5, 195-pound combo guard that had a monster senior season, especially considering it was cut short due to a torn ACL dating back to last spring.

“Since I’ve been back healthy, I’ve been averaging 30 [points] a game, shooting the ball a lot better and finishing good,” Williams told Pokes Report in a phone interview. “Still don’t have all my explosiveness back yet at all; I haven’t had any dunks this year. I’m not too comfortable jumping as high as I was before the ACL tear, but I’m feeling good. I’ve got three Power Five offers; I visit Kansas on Monday and everything’s going good.”

Williams has also averaged close to 10 rebounds and two steals in just 13 games this season.

Had he not torn his ACL this past spring, all he had to do was average 12 points a game to break the all-time scoring record at North Star. However, after missing the first 10 games of the 2019-20 season, Williams told me that he had to average 35 game for the remainder of the season. He’s currently averaging 29.8 points a game, but he’s had a couple of big games this season as he broke the North Star single-game scoring record, which he had previous set, by scoring 44 points against Lincoln Northeast and then 50 points the very next night against Bellevue West.

North Star has a playoff game this coming Saturday, March 1, and all Williams has to do is score eight points to break the all-time scoring record at North Shore. It goes to show you exactly the type of hard worker that Williams is and what he can bring to the table at the next level.

“[The college coaches] all see me as a competitor,” Williams said. “When I got my first offer from Texas, they came to watch me work out, it was a normal workout with some ball handling and some shooting. I also had a couple of teammates there to do some one-on-one stuff and I’m talking trash, I’m banging up on people, I’m in their faces and that’s just me; that’s everyday Donovan, that’s how I play. I’m just a competitor no matter what we’re doing and that’s the first thing Shaka [Smart] told me. He said, ‘I love how competitive and nasty you are on the court.’

Williams currently holds three P5 offers: Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas. Williams was in Stillwater on Jan. 27 for an unofficial visit and told me that he plans on taking his official visit once his season wraps up in the middle of March. He also said that he doesn’t plan on committing until the spring signing period in mid-April.

While he doesn’t hold an offer from the, Williams is currently talking to Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

Here’s Williams thoughts on this three Power Five offers.

Texas - “My first offer was Texas; I love them a lot. I love the team that they’ve got, the only question I have is job security. You have to pay attention to that. That’s not a knock on the coaching, that’s just how Texas is; they’re known for getting rid of coaches quickly because they have the money to bring new coaches in whenever they want. Shaka [Smart’s] kind of having a down year this year, so he could be on the hot seat. Let’s say he does keep his job and I’m there next year, what if they take [his job] then? Then I’m in the position I was before with [Nebraska] coach [Tim] Miles. That’s the only question I have about Texas. I’ll visit there soon.”

Kansas State – “They want me to come in and be the guy right away. They’ve got four commits in the class right now and they want me to be the fifth. They see me coming and making an impact on both ends right away, scoring the ball, defense and stuff like that. We talk every day; out of all the schools, they probably show the most love. They probably send four or five letters every other day; handwritten letters, not just some poster of their schedule. That means a lot that they’re showing love like that. The unofficial I took there was great too.”

Oklahoma State – “I really like Oklahoma State. Obviously, they’ve got Cade Cunningham coming in next year, he’ll be a top-three pick in the 2021 [NBA] Draft obviously. I could really use him as a big factor in helping me get to where I want to be. He’s going to have NBA scouts at every practice, every game, everything he does is going to be watched by NBA scouts. I think I have the capabilities of doing the same thing he’s doing, and that’s going to the NBA and whether that’s in a year, or two or three or four, whatever the case may be. If I go to Oklahoma State, it’s because I’m trying to go to the League. Period. I’m not going there to try and break Oklahoma State records, I’m trying to get to the League, and get to the [NCAA] tournament and win a National Championship. Because with me, [Cunningham], Rondel Walker, Moncrieffe, that could be something special. We could make a tournament run and do something that haven’t done in a while. So, that’s my goal, to win a national championship and get to the NBA right away.”

As with most recruits we talk to, Williams has a great relationship with Mike Boynton.

“It’s really good,” Williams said of his relationship with Mike Boynton. “It’s easy to be close to a coach like that because he’s been there. He’s been in my shoes, he’s been a recruit, he’s been a player at the college level. We talk every day. If we don’t talk every day, then we talk the next day. He’s always texting me to see how I’m doing. What I really respect about him is he doesn’t pitch me. He isn’t someone that’s pitching me to commit somewhere just because they offered me. He’s the type of guy that’s ‘Let the kid make his own decision and let things play out the right way. If it’s right, then it’ll happen the right way.’ It’s not him pressuring me saying ‘Oh, if you don’t commit, we’re going to get someone else,’ or ‘If you don’t commit right now, we might not have a scholarship in the next month.’ It’s never been that. So, it’s a good relationship that we have and I’m thankful for him. He’s a good dude.”

As mentioned above, Williams is planning on making official visits to all three of his offer schools once his season is over within the next few weeks. He’s also planning on waiting until mid-April to make a commitment decision. But as we all know, recruiting is a fickle business and it’s always possible Williams could make a decision sooner.

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