Former Orlando Dr. Phillips and Jones High player Pat Williams, who transferred for his junior season to Davie University School, has committed to the University of Buffalo.
"I feel great about it," Williams said. "I committed on Sunday after I got a view of the campus after the camp that I was up here for. It was a good atmosphere up there in New York. I've never been that far north."
Williams, who played his freshman season at Dr. Phillips when current DeLand head coach Kevin Pettis was the Panthers coach.
"It all started for me with ninth grade," Williams said. "I was with Dr. Phillips under Kevin Pettis. That's who really got me started with wanting to take football seriously. I was the fullback for the running back Dee Hart. Hanging around Dee Hart always motivated me to play hard. Now here I am an all-American nominee and an all-Broward County player."
Williams, who took a visit to Niagara Falls during his trip, hit a growth spurt recently that will have all his friends back in Orlando wondering who he is when he comes back to visit.
He left Orlando for Davie last year, a mere 5-foot-9, 200 pounds. He played fullback to Dee Hart's running back for the DP freshman team, and then switched to defensive tackle when he was at Jones for his sophomore year.
"A lot of people used to tell me that I was too small to be a d-tackle," said Williams, who is now 6-foot-2, 285 pounds. "Hanging around Dee Hart, he's always motivated me to play hard and not to worry about the things that other people say."
The main draw for Williams at Buffalo was the School of Management business school, which is ranked 70th best graduate school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
"If I get the opportunity to go to the NFL, I would love to take it," Williams said. "It's not always promised. Some players play football and think football is the only thing and they forget about their degree. I put my degree first and have football as a backup."
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun