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November 18, 2004

Derrick Williams opens things up

Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt athlete Derrick Williams was rumored to be down to just four schools, having eliminated Florida. However, the opposite is true as Williams, the nation's No. 1 player, is now considering more teams than he has in months.

"There was an article out there that said Derrick had eliminated Florida and that he was down to four schools," said Derrick's father, Dwight. "That's not true. In fact, we're opening his recruiting up again a bit because we're not sure who will be his fifth visit."

Williams, a 6-foot-0, 189-pounder who will play wideout wherever he goes, has already visited Florida and Penn State.

"Both visits went well," said Dwight. "Derrick was thinking about taking an unofficial visit to Penn State this weekend for their home game against Michigan State now that his season is over, but we decided to take the weekend to relax and talk things over.

"We also didn't want to send the wrong impression to other schools that Derrick is more interested in Penn State than others. He's wide open right now."

Is Florida still in?

"Yes, they will get a great coach, I think that's pretty much certain," said Dwight. "Derrick has always liked Florida, enjoyed his official visit there and still talks to coach Locksley. Florida is not out at all."

So who will get the next two official visits?

"Tennessee is going to be the weekend of Nov. 26," said Dwight. "And we told Oklahoma we'd probably take a visit there the weekend of Dec. 10. The fifth visit is still not set."

Who is in the mix for the fifth visit?

"Originally it was going to be Texas, but we're looking at all options now," he said. "Miami is back in the picture, Louisville is there as well as Florida State and Texas. We're looking around at teams that throw the ball a lot and need wideouts for the fifth trip."

The Williams' like different things about each of the four schools.

"Miami has had more players drafted in the first round than anyone else," said Dwight. "And we like the coaches there. Louisville has a wide open offense, they love to throw it around and their coach is great. He could be somewhere else real soon though, he's such a hot commoddity.

"FSU has great athletes and if you want to be a standout player, you need to be surrounded by great athletes. Texas is a great program and we've know coach Brown for a long time."

When will the fifth visit occur?

"Probably on Dec. 17 but it could be Dec. 3," he said. "It depends on when we figure out who it will be. Derrick wants to announce his decision on Dec. 21 or Dec. 22 on ESPN."

Williams' season ended with a loss in the playoffs to Flowers this past weekend.

"It was a big disappointment," said Dwight. "The team really gave it their all and worked hard and to come up short hurts."

There had been speculation that the commitment of the nation's top cornerback, Justin King, to Penn State, might be enough to sway Derrick over to the Nittany Lions.

"Derrick and Justin have talked and Justin is a great pickup for Penn State," said Dwight. "But our feeling is that Penn State is more than just one or two players away from turning things around. If some others follow Justin and they land a few more top players this year, it will help but right now Penn State is even with everyone else."

For more on Derrick's recruiting, tune in to ESPNews Thursday at 3:45PM EST.


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