You want to win your way to the signature of Orlando Evans High offensive lineman Darrell Williams? Barbecue will help.
If there is anything the other schools courting Williams can learn from his visit this past weekend to NC State, it's that the young man won't walk away from all-you-can-eat barbecue.
"They fed me some real good barbecue," Williams said from Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday. "That's what I've been eating for the last two days. I might have even put on some weight."
Which probably wouldn't be a bad thing for Williams, a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder who could probably use some more bulk to help him compete at the next level. And he's getting pretty close to figuring out where he will take his talents.
Williams is honed in. He's narrowed his list of colleges to four schools, including NC State. He'll visit them all, and then make a decision. First up was NC State and then he'll visit South Carolina, USF and Florida State, but hasn't scheduled the visits yet.
"I get calls like once a week from each of those schools," Williams said. "They just check up on me a lot of times, and it's not about football always. We talk about life in general and they ask how my family is doing and stuff."
He had a good time in Raleigh.
"Campus is real nice and I got to watch them practice and then the game. They lost but it was a real good game and I liked what I saw. It was packed. I didn't see one empty seat," Williams said of the Wolfpack's 41-30 loss to Virginia Tech. "I got to meet my position coach, offensive line coach (Don) Horton and coach (Tom) O'Brien the head coach. They were real straight forward with me, didn't sugar-coat anything."
He stayed at a player's apartment during his visit, and also said there were a few Orlando players he knew, like ex-Boone standout RB James Washington, WR Jarvis Williams from Jones High and 2006 Apopka OL Gary Gregory. Also now at NC State is former Dr. Phillips LB E.J. Carter, a sophomore who transferred from Syracuse.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.