July 12, 2010

Top JUCO DT set to visit UA

The Alabama Crimson Tide's recruiting territory has expanded greatly under head coach Nick Saban, with the Tide reaching out to every corner of the country for elite recruits over the past few years. Now the Tide may be reaching beyond the borders of the US for its next elite prospect. Junior college defensive tackle Jesse Williams, a native of Brisbane, Australia, exploded onto the scene last year at Arizona Western Community College, dominating his competition and racking up 46 tackles with four sacks in just 10 games.

"He has all the tools to be an elite player at the next level," said Arizona Western head coach Thomas Minnick. "He's got ideal size, he can run, he can bench press over 500 pounds. Those are things you can't teach and it's why so many top programs around the country are after him."

Williams, who played rugby and basketball in high school, didn't begin playing American football until 2007 when he joined a local club team. He quickly took to the sport and after just one season playing in America he has established himself as one of the top junior college prospects in the nation.

"At this point, I think Jesse realizes that he has the ability to play this game at the professional level if he continues to work at it," Minnick said. "Part of what he's going to be looking at during the recruiting process is which of these schools have the kind of coaches that have proven they can help him get to the NFL and succeed there."

At the moment, however, that recruiting process is at a standstill for Williams as the 6-foot-4, 330-pound defensive tackle has returned home to Australia for the summer. Minnick said Williams will begin to take the recruiting process more seriously when he returns later this summer. Before heading home for the summer, Williams announced his top five schools, which included Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Oregon State.

"I wouldn't really want to speak on his behalf regarding recruiting because I haven't spoken to him since he went home. I think he wants to kind of go home and decide what approach he wants to take so that he's ready to hit the ground running when he gets back."

Williams will get things started quickly once the season begins with his first official visit already scheduled for September 4th in Tuscaloosa to watch Alabama open its season against San Jose State.

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