Cover Photo Courtesy – Varsity Views
Caught up with Bradley-Bourbonnais’ underrated DB Damien Williams (LPI #6 DB) on his visit plans, his improvements from last offseason and his teammates to look out for.
Wt: 170 lbs
Commitment status: Undecided
Photo Courtesy – Varsity Views
LPI: What were the most important things you did this offseason and are now doing in practice so you can improve this season?
DW: Going into the offseason I knew I would need to clean up my footwork and my man coverage. Going to summer camps is where Defensive backs shine and get to prove themselves during 1 on 1s. Along with taking my man coverage to the next level, footwork was my main goal this offseason. Footwork is important as a DB. The first 3 steps of a play will determine how well you will do that play just because of your footwork. My high school DB coach couldn’t stress that enough to me. I knew I had to get my footwork as crisp as I could & my man coverage the best I could get it to separate myself.
LPI: Where have you camped/showcased at this summer? Do you think you stood out at any one or few in particular?
DW: I had a biggest list I ever had for summer camps this year. I attended SIU, Indiana State, Purdue, UTC, and the USA Development Camp. I would say I stood out at the USA Development Camp the most. With that camp it’s a series of the development drills with the top athletes getting invited to the development games. I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to the development games. I thought I performed well there. I took a lot from the experience from the development games learning from coaches and players. Everything I’ve learned I just put it into my own game to take that next step. I’m currently waiting to see if I’m invited to go compete with the USA national team and play against Canada in February as well.
LPI: Were you on any 7on7 teams this year? If so, how did it go for you?
DW: I went out to the Las Vegas Pylon tournament with a Team of kids from all over the country. We were put together in a week and never practiced or anything until we met each other the Thursday night before the competition. The next morning we were competing with the best 7 on 7 teams in the country. It was a great experience & I competed with a lot of the top kids in the country. That’s when I knew what I was up against. Being in Illinois we aren’t considered a football state, but I have to say Illinois has some ballers. It showed me that even if Illinois gets over looked I went and competed against some of the best in the country. That just gave me even more confidence.
LPI: You’re sitting on offers from South Florida, Alabama-Birmingham and Mississippi Valley State. What are your greatest strengths or why should a school offer you?
DW: USF was my first offer and it came out of nowhere. I was surprised and beyond excited. Then I got the UAB offer knowing about their program and my freshmen year will be their first year back with the football program. After that MVSU offered me. Knowing Jerry Rice went there boosted that offer for me. All three offers are a blessing and they are three great schools. Having 3 big offers like the ones I have really show me where my ceiling is at. My strength use to be my coverage as I was always known for being that lock down corner. However, after hitting the weight room hard over the summer & getting stronger, I’m now one of the most physical players on the field every snap. I don’t just want to be a coverage guy, I want to be known for laying the wood as well.
LPI: Offer or not, which schools have you kept in contact with the most?
DW: I’d say UAB has been most in contact. From trying to set up my official visit to just checking up on me. I’m waiting patiently to get to take a trip down there to see what the program has to offer. UAB was on the rise as a program before they ended the program. Now that it’s coming back. I would give it 2-3 years for them to be competing at the highest level and recruiting the best recruits in the country.
LPI: Where have you visited most recently and do you have any visits coming up?
DW: Last college I was at was Indiana State for their camp. It was one of the best camps I went to all summer. The coaching staff is a great, they are all alums and they know what it takes to play for their program. I didn’t get to see much of Indiana State, but what I saw was all good things. I don’t have any visits planned, but I am trying to visit some schools close to home because they are easy to get to on a Saturday.
LPI: What’re your personal goals for this season?
DW: To be better than I was my junior year. I always set my standards high for myself. I have game goals that will help me reach my season goals. My biggest season goal though is to get BBCHS to their first State Championship and bring home the title. We were close last year, losing in the Semifinals to a tough Libertyville team, but I really think we have what it takes to win this year.
LPI: You guys are doing well so far this year at 3-0. What have you guys been doing so you can get back to the playoffs?
DW: We are off to a good start, but we have the toughest schedule that we have probably had in over 10 years with powerhouse 7A and 8A teams on our schedule. We have a lot of young guys, but we also have some experienced returners. Our offense has been on fire the first 3 weeks of the season and we are also cleaning things up on defensive. With us being young, we just need confidence and with that we will make a run. Just working to get better week by week and just want to hit our highest peak at the end of the season to make another playoff run.
LPI: Besides yourself, you guys have Iowa commit Cam Harrell (LPI #3 DB) getting recruiting attention. Who are some of your other teammates that you believe have what it takes to play at the next level?
First I just want to say I love having Cam Harrell playing along side me in the secondary. We feed off each other and use each other to make our defense the best it can be.
Morion Burtis – As a sophomore we brought him up at the end of the season and he helped us make a playoff run. Now he’s a junior and running the offense at the quarterback position. He is a dual threat that still has a lot to learn, but is already playing well.
Dazhee Horton – Dazhee transferred in from Momence High School. He can play slot or out wide. He can also be sprinkled in at QB. He has a good arm and good feet. Give him space and he can make you pay.
Jailen Bobo – He transferred in from Bishop Mac this year. He’s long and lengthy, has good hands and can go up to get the 50/50 ball. With his length he can give DBs trouble at the next level.
Aaron Bryd and Brandon Jordan – Byrd is a junior and Jordan is a senior. Both big bodied linemen that run the line. They are work horses and block until the whistle.