The Florida State football team’s end-of-summer recruiting event, “Seminole Showcase,” drew dozens of talented prospects to Tallahassee on Saturday, and none was more significant than five-star wide receiver Hykeem Williams.
The nation’s No. 16 overall recruit, Williams, was in town for an extended visit. He attended FSU’s practices on Thursday and Friday and then interacted with other recruits and coaches on Saturday.
The competition will be extremely intense for Williams, who is strongly considering Georgia, Texas A&M and other top programs. But he said there is something different about FSU than other schools and added that he plans to take an official visit to Florida State.
“Them boys work and I love to work, so liked what they do,” Williams said of the Seminoles’ practices. “I love how they are always running and everything is fast with things they do at practice. Coach [Ron] Dugans really knows what he’s talking about. He gets you prepared for sure for the NFL.
“I really liked the visit a lot. It’s so real and a brotherhood with everything they do.”
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Another highlight from the visit was seeing his close friend and former teammate at Stranahan High School, linebacker Omar Graham.
“Omar is really huge. It’s great the way they are using him and producing him and getting right for the next level,” Williams said. “I’ve hung around Omar a lot and I’m around the players. It’s a real brotherhood around here. Off the field, they are so close. And then in practice, they push each other so hard in practice. I like that.”
While Williams could have his choice of virtually any program in the country, he made it clear that he likes the direction of the Seminoles under head coach Mike Norvell. He particularly likes the way FSU has been loading up on offensive linemen, which is essential for a passing game.
“Oh hell yes!” the five-star said of FSU’s improvement. “Then when you see the linemen they are getting. All the freshman guys. They are almost as big as the upperclassmen here, so I’m like, ‘That’s where it starts at in protecting the quarterback and getting this thing rolling.'”
Williams said several schools wanted him to visit this weekend, but he decided he was coming to FSU a while ago. He then went deeper into what he likes about the Seminoles.
“Coach Dugans, Florida State, and it’s not too far from home,” he said. “I like Florida State a lot. FSU is pretty high up there, and they are in my top. They are so real about anything, never sugarcoat what they are. All of them are working towards the same thing.”
The five-star receiver also confirmed he will officially visit FSU, and it sounds like he already has a date picked out.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be when they play Florida for my official visit,” Williams said.
So how does Florida State compare to Texas A&M, Georgia, Miami and his other suitors?
“This is a unique campus. It gives you a really historic vibe,” Williams said. “Everywhere you go on this campus, there is a unique vibe about it. And the people are so real.”
The five-star also touched on when his decision will come and what factors will go into that decision.
“I would say October or September. I think the factors are my connections to that school, how comfortable I am with them and the relationships I have with the coaches and players,” he said. “Making sure I’ve been to that school and I’m comfortable there.”
Now that Williams has made more than one trip to Tallahassee, he has his eyes on one more thing he’d like to see.
“I would say their play during the season. That’s really it,” he said, adding that he liked what he saw from FSU’s passing attack in practice. “They definitely throw the ball. I saw that a lot, and they are always moving with their receivers and their offense.”
FSU head coach Mike Norvell also continued to make a positive impression on the blue-chip receiver.
“He’s all over the place in practice. He’s everywhere,” Williams said. “He’s not just working with one specific group or drill. He is working with receivers, linemen, DBs, tight ends, everybody. Most coaches, they aren’t very interactive. But he moves and interacts like he’s not even the head coach. Like he’s a regular person, and I really like that.”
Williams has the strongest relationship with receivers coach Ron Dugans and had a clear message about his feelings for him as well.
“He’s been real from the jump,” said Williams. “That’s what you are looking for in a coach.”