December 14, 2008

Williams reaffirms Vols, enjoys visit

Alpharetta, Ga., tailback Toney Williams can officially send out his new mailing address after spending the weekend in Knoxville and ending any doubt as to where he is going to play college football. Williams is indeed a Vol and will be moving to Knoxville in three weeks.

"The visit was great," Williams said. "I like everything about Tennessee. Of course their facilities are terrific. But the visit was more about the people and the staff. I really like coach (Lane) Kiffin. He is a great guy and is a competitor. I like that he is straightforward guy."

Williams hung out with the fellow recruits including soon-to-be-roommate Nigel Mitchell-Thornton as well as current Vols Nick Reveiz and Eric Berry.

"Those guys were really cool," Williams said. "Eric is just a regular guy. He's calm and really laid back. He's a guy everyone wants to hang out with."

Williams further got a better look at a typical Knoxville weekend �" something high on his priority list.

"I wanted to get a feel for everything," Williams said. "The stadium and facilities and all that are great, but I just wanted to get a feel for Knoxville and everything else. It was real good."

However, it wasn't all just fun and games for the weekend. In fact, the 6-foot-1, 227-pound tailback went to class.

"I watched a good bit of tape with coach Kiffin and with coach (Stan) Drayton," explained Williams, who plans to pursue an education major and wants to eventual become a coach. "They showed me a bunch of cut-ups from what coach Kiffin did at Southern Cal and how they were going to use me. It's really exciting."

Williams said he is "100 percent committed to Tennessee" and will not host any coaches before the dead period starts next week. His focus now is on Christmas and moving. Williams said he expects to register for classes at UT next week.

"It's crazy to be thinking about packing up and moving," Williams said. "But it's also really exciting. Going to Tennessee in January is a big advantage. It's going to give me a chance to get adjusted to college before I start playing football. And then to get to go through spring practice and learn the new offense as everyone else is learning it, that will help me a lot as well."

What Williams learned about Kiffin and new quarterbacks coach David Reaves this weekend that most impressed him is the staff's commitment to competition.

"(Kiffin) just told me that I can come in and compete," said the powerful Williams, who grabbed the attention of colleges throughout the country with his 380-yard, seven-touchdown performance early this season. "He said I can come and practice and compete and that nothing's guaranteed in terms of playing time, but that the running backs are going to compete to play."

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