Top QB Williams Recruiting Peers: 'You Can't Hide if You Want to Be the Best'
Caleb Williams is the top quarterback prospect in the 2021 class with scholarship offers from elite programs coast to coast. He has agreed to give Sports Illustrated exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from his experience as a high profile recruit to his home life and preparation for his senior season. This is 'All on the Line.'
We're back for Week 8 of the blog and we're still working, still going hard. I got back to school this week.
There hasn't been much recruiting by the colleges with me, sort of the same things, more phone calls and texts with coaches. I've been spending a lot of time with family and focusing on myself physically and mentally with school and my team still having virtual practice.
I've been recruiting guys pretty hard. I've been texting with top guys in the nation to build that bond in my class. As everybody's seen, Ohio State, UNC, Clemson and all the other top schools have been hot.
I think Clemson is in the top three but if I end up choosing Clemson I want them to have the best class, in my class, and then forever. I want to build a special class wherever I go so I've been DMing, texting, getting on FaceTime, Instagram live and things like that. Just kind of talking to the guys and asking them what they're feeling, how they're feeling about football and other things in our lives.
When I choose one of these schools I want some of these guys with me. Not just offensive guys, either. I'm talking to defensive guys, too.
I played in the WCAC championship, that we won, and we were down by 14 points late in the game. They always say defense wins championships and we got two fumbles that sprung us to go and give me the chance to throw a Hail Mary at the end of the game. I know how important defense is. Putting up a certain amount of points and still losing is not fun so I've been recruiting defensive players.
Offense is kind of easy. I've been to the camps with the guys, they've seen me throw and I've thrown to the running backs, wide receivers. I don't go to a lot of camps but I'm recruiting when I do. Like at the Future 50 I was hanging out with a lot of the linemen because the other guys are easier to recruit. You can sling them the rock, throw the ball well a few times, celebrate with them, have a good time and joke around. With linemen it has to be a bond you develop with them. That approach is the same when I'm recruiting defensive players.
You see guys posting on Instagram all the time, so I give them a follow and make the first move towards building a bond.
You can't hide if you want to be the best.
[Related: Caleb Williams Talks Top Five Options]
You can't hide in the shadows if you want to be the best. That's what I'm always preaching towards. I reach out to them, I usually say 'what's up' and wait for them to respond. Not everybody gets messages and I don't recruit like those getting paid to do this. Sometimes they send the same messages to recruits but I'm not really going to do that. They'll be with me for three to four years so I'm here to build something, build a brotherhood.
Hopefully that's good enough for them to believe me and join me wherever I go.
Others recruit me, but they don't really do it how I do it. It's more, 'come join me' or 'you know the move' and that's fine. They're doing their part. But I text and text back. I don't just say 'come,' I don't hold back and I'm not going to hold back if I'm trying to get you to come with me for the next three to four years and win some national championships.
In recruiting, I was talking to Clemson. I talked to Coach (Brandon) Streeter, we kind of just caught up. I saw his family over FaceTime and said hello to them. I asked how they were doing and he asked about my family. Right after that he told me Coach Dabo Swinney wanted to get on Facetime with me.
I love Coach Swinney, he's a funny guy. We got on the call and were joking around, having a good time. But he said he wants Clemson to be the top one school. He wants Clemson to be the school for me and truly believes Clemson is the school for me and that it fits me well. That was his main message.
When I commit to one of these schools, I want it to be like fireworks going off. That class of the school I choose will explode to the top, that type of thing. That type of explosion.
I've been texting all the guys. Christian Leary, Mario Williams, Clayton Smith, Kelvin Gilliam, Dallas Turner. I've been texting Kendal Daniels. I was texting J.T. (Tuimoloau) today. We were talking, he has a bunch of schools that I have but isn't really a public guy. I've also been talking to (Amarius) Mims lately. He came out with his top group on April 1.
I can't wait to watch the NFL Draft this year. We've never been here, in this situation, as far as drafting virtually. It's kind of cool but also not kind of cool. For somebody being in that situation, to always want to walk on that stage and put the hat on while holding the jersey. But it's still a dream come true I bet. They're going to the NFL and are going to live a new life.
I'm just excited to see how this is going to play out and what it means for the future. I'm a Green Bay fan because I love Aaron Rodgers. They need some defense, one or two wide receivers and some linemen.
I hope everybody is staying safe, healthy and strong in this tough time.
Signing out, Caleb Williams: All on the Line.
Make sure you wash your hands.