Pictures from Sunday's Scout.com All-American Invitational Combine at Mississippi State…
Aaron Williams' recruiting profile
The player who was named the Defensive MVP at the combine went to Ridgeland's Aaron Williams. Aaron won over the people in attendance with his quickness and pure brutal strength. How many high school prospects are already squatting 675 pounds, benching over 400 pounds, and running a true 5.2 forty? Not many. In fact, Aaron won the State of Mississippi in the Power Lifting competition as a sophomore and is the odds on favorite to win it again.
Aaron Williams Profile
Height: 6' 0"
40 time: 5.2
From: Ridgeland, MS
High School: Ridgeland (4A)
The following information was revealed during our interview with Aaron Williams:
What are your strengths at defensive tackle? "I have great strength, speed, and quickness for somebody my size. I stay low to the ground, which makes me hard to block for the offensive linemen."
What are you working on for the next level? "I am a power lifter. I am getting stronger. I am working on my stamina and getting my feet quicker. Right now, I think I am as strong as I can get."
You compete in weight lifting? "Yes sir, I won State last year and I am on my way to winning State again. It is coming up (State event) next month."
How long have you been starting for Ridgeland? "I came back to Ridgeland in 10th grade. I went to Durant in 9th grade. I started their too."
What were your stats for the 2004 season? "I have no idea. I would have to ask coach."
Did you garner any awards? "I made All-Metro (Clarion Ledger), 1st Team All-District, All-State, and I was Defensive MVP at the Army All-American combine."
Have you received any early scholarship offers? "I do not know what you call it. LSU wrote me one. Ole Miss has been on me big. USM and Miami wrote me one (a scholarship). They said they are coming by the school. When I was at the Army All-American combine, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Auburn talked to me about it."
Who is showing you the most attention? "Ole Miss, most definitely."
Have you had a chance to visit any of the schools you are interested in? "No sir, not yet, but I plan on going to some practices. The close ones like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Southern Mississippi. I just hope the schools I want to attend get a chance to see me and see the things I can do."
Which schools have caught your eye up to this point? "The ones that have been on my mind are Miami, LSU, FSU, and I have been thinking about Ole Miss pretty hard. Of course, I am looking at all of the state schools (USM, MSU, and OM). Did I say LSU? And I like all of the Florida schools."
What attracts you to Ole Miss? "I got a chance to attend some of their games last year. I like the intensity from their crowd. They have a new coach. He knows how to win championships and send defensive linemen to the league. Coach "O" has a track record with defensive linemen. He coached Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, all of them pro bowlers. I also like their new facilities. They are straight. He has them headed in the right direction and is bringing in a lot of good young players."
What are MSU's positives? "Again, they have a new staff. They also have a good young nucleus that is going to help them turn it around. They get good support from their fans too, but most of all, it is close to home."
What about Miami? "I just like their overall program. I am the kind of kid that likes to get into the game. Their players, man, they get into it. They just carry themselves differently than everybody else. I like that. Their coaches make it fun for their players. Them and LSU have those type of coaches. My role model, Warren Sapp, he played at Miami too."
You spoke of LSU's coaches; what are some of their positives? "At first, I did not care for LSU, but when I got a chance to go their football camp last summer, it opened my eyes. The players that were there were cool and their coaches were too. I just like how their coaches treated their players."
With Saban now gone; does this have an impact with you? "It kind of had an effect. I think he made such a mark on their program that they are going to win with or without him. They will probably stick around."
You mentioned that you attended LSU's camp last summer; where else did you camp? "No where."
Where do you plan to camp at this summer? "I think coach is taking me to Alabama, Auburn, and maybe Miami. I would like to go to Miami's camp. I am also going to the Nike Camp at Ole Miss."
What are you looking for when it comes decision time? "I do not want to have to go in there and get it done right away. I want to go in relaxed and not worry about all of that stuff. I want to feel at home, be safe, like here in Ridgeland. If I go in and produce in my first year, fine, but if not, that is fine too. I want an intense program, as far as athletics. I also want them to carry my major. It will probably be in Business Management, but I am not sure yet."
What is your current academic status? "I have a 87.8 Core GPA and a 16 on my ACT test. I am retaking the test on April 9th."
The following information comes from Ridgeland's defensive line coach, Coach Calvin Bolton:
Tell us about Aaron as the person and player. "As a the person, he is just a great kid who works hard on the field, in the weight room, and in the classroom. He makes very good grades. He has made Honor Roll all year. As a player, he has just been blessed with a lot of God given ability. That, with his work ethic in the weight room, has just taken him to a dominate level. He has a strong mind and that will take him far in life."
What are Aaron's strengths? "His biggest asset is his overall body strength and quickness. The strength he has for a 17 year old kid is unreal. The boy can squat 700 pounds and bench over nearly 400 pounds. To be his size and be as quick as he is, well, that is what is going to make him a lot of money. At the All-American combine, he ran a 4.75 shuttle. That tells you how mobile he is, which is unheard of for a 300 pounder. That is what you want as a college recruiter. But not only is he gifted, he has that mental state of mind. He knows what he wants to do, and he does what he has to do to achieve his goals."