July 31, 2013 8:13:42 PM
WEST POINT - West Point High School tailback Aeris Williams then told the nation Wednesday afternoon he wanted to be the 14th verbal commitment of Mississippi State University's 2014 recruiting class.
Williams, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound tailback, is rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports.com, and also held offers from the University of Mississippi, Florida State University and the University of Wisconsin as the Williams' family previously lived in Racine, Wis., before they moved to West Point.
MSU offensive line coach John Hevesy and running backs coach Greg Knox were Williams' primary recruiters as the West Point product said he was impressed with Knox's ability to get previous MSU tailbacks (Anthony Dixon and Vick Ballard) to the NFL. Florida State tight end coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster, who coached wide receivers last season at MSU, was able to get the Seminoles program in Williams' final list.
"I talked to my mom and she loved it at Mississippi State," Williams said. "That was important to me because I'd already talked about it with my friends and I already felt at home there."
In his junior season at West Point, Williams led the Green Wave with 1,704 yards and 22 touchdowns, and he was named to the Dispatch All-Area second team.
"Aeris is not a 'me guy' and he's a team guy that truly believes his teammates help get him here" West Point coach Chris Chambless said. "As his coach, it is a relief to me that Mississippi State has always taken care of our kids here."
Williams has already been identified as a elite senior prospect in the state of Mississippi as the Green Wave program attempts to make another run at a Class 5A state championship. 247Sports.com has Williams listed as the top running back in the state and the third highest ranked skill position offensive player in the Magnolia State. Williams said Wednesday he had fully made his mind after attending the Big Dawgs Camp at Davis Wade Stadium last weekend.
Williams is expected to compete for playing time while at MSU with a currently deep group tailback. LaDarius Perkins will have graduated by the time Williams arrives on campus and Nick Grffin is coming off his second anterior cruciate ligament injury in his college career but Josh Robinson and Derrick Milton will be upperclassmen in William's first season in Starkville. MSU also signed four-star tailback Ashton Shumpert in this past recruiting class.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
4. A Stone's Throw: Beware COLUMNS