Auburn football: DE signee Andrew Williams picked Tigers because 'everything was working for them'

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 7, 2014 

Eagles Landing Christian Academy (Ga.) defensive end Andrew Williams

AUBURN UNIVERSITY

AUBURN, Ala.Andrew Williams wasn't lacking for options Wednesday.

One of the top uncommitted prospects in the nation entering national signing day, the four-star defensive end had narrowed his finalists down to three schools where football reigns supreme: Auburn, Clemson and Georgia. Just after 2:30 p.m. ET, he finally made his decision public, signing with Auburn.

What was the deciding factor in choosing Auburn?

"Auburn, as a school, I feel like they best could help develop me as a man, spiritually," Williams said. "Just everything was working for them, so why not?"

Williams was the final player to sign with Auburn on Wednesday, making him the 23rd member of its 2014 class. He had a stellar senior season at Eagles Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga., collecting 66 tackles (36 for loss) and 10 sacks.

But the Tigers had been on Williams' trail long before his exploits last fall.

"We've been recruiting him a long time," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "He's a very big, athletic guy that can run, that can rush the passer. Very physical. (Defensive line) Coach Rodney Garner did a great job with him and he's also a guy that we feel like can give us some depth early on."

It's not as if the Tigers were thin on the defensive line before Williams' commitment, though. The Georgia native was one of six defensive lineman the Tigers signed in the 2014 class, joining fellow ends Raashed Kennion, DaVonte Lambert and Justin Thornton as well as tackles Devaroe Lawrence and Dontavius Russell. In addition, Auburn brings back five ends who saw playing time last year (LaDarius Owens, Carl Lawson, LaDarius Owens, Elijah Daniel, Gimel President and Keymiya Harrell) along with five experienced interior linemen (Gabe Wright, Montravius Adams, Ben Bradley, Angelo Blackson and Jeff Whitaker).

The good news for Williams is that Garner likes to rotate as many linemen as possible to ensure that every player is fresh when he's on the field.

And Williams plans to be in the mix from Day 1.

"Freshman year, definitely, early on I want to try to make an impact," Williams said. "And just get in the rotation. So the sooner, the better."

Now that signing day has passed, Williams was given a moment to catch his breath and reflect, thankful that the recruiting process had finally ended.

"It's been hectic, really, but it's been fun," he said. "Me, my family, my friends, my teammates, we just kept it grinding. I'm just ready to get it over with."

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