Perkinston, Miss.--Four-star wide receiver prospect D'haquille Williams announced on Sunday that he will sign with the Auburn Tigers.
One of the top juco prospects in the nation, the former LSU commitment will be a sophomore this season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He is originally from East St. John High in Reserve, La.
Williams, who took an official visit to Auburn this weekend, said that he has a high comfort level with AU wide receiver coach Dameyune Craig, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and head coach Gus Malzahn in general.
Taking his second trip to Auburn, Williams said that things just fell into place for him when he was on the Plains. Spending a lot of time with future position coach Craig, the talented juco receiver said he knew when he set foot inside Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night that Auburn was the place for him.
“Coming in on Friday and being around Coach Craig it just felt like he was there for me on and off the field,” Williams said. “Feeling the vibe that he’s offering and with Coach Malzahn and Coach Lashlee saying how much they need me, when I hear that it’s telling me they care for me.
"There’s not too many people I trust, but trusting them and feeling at home is big for me. Being away from home is hard, but I’m trying to make a big impact on Auburn becoming a Tiger. This is where it's at and that is how it’s going to be. I’m going to set the tone."
The 6-3, 213-pound wide receiver added, “The people and the environment (were a big part of his decision). Everybody is just smiling and walking around giving me big ups just for being on campus. Just being there feels like home. Not too many places feel like home to me.
"Being there just walking around campus and meeting new people, being around Quan Bray and Nick Marshall and the rest of the team, that’s just big. They are telling me it’s business and you have to work hard because nothing comes easy in life.
"By them telling me that and coming from the same situation I’m coming from, it’s big for me. I know for a fact that I’m going to make a big impact. Not too many people know what I’m capable of, but I’m going to let them know what it is.”
Bonding with Craig is something that has been happening since he first visited Auburn back in the spring. A former Auburn quarterback that came from Prichard and turned into a success story with the Tigers and now in the coaching ranks, Williams said he sees a mentor in his future position coach.
“He’s a cool dude,” Williams said. “He cames from a place where he had to struggle. I don’t really just talk to everybody like that, but Coach Craig I can open up with him. I can let him know what I feel and I can talk to him on and off the field. It’s not really on the field issues, but it’s mostly off the field. He doesn’t want anything to happen and he’s here for me. That just makes me trust him more and more. He’s here to help us, not just to coach us but to be a father to us. That’s big.”
Playing in an up-tempo offense at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Williams said that because of that he feels like Auburn will be a very good fit for his skill set outside at wide receiver.
“We try and get the ball off fast and try to get the defense tired,” Williams said. “By Coach Malzahn running the no-huddle I’m already used to that. Coming in it’s not going to be hard for me to catch on because I already know what he’s running. They’re going to air the ball out. Meeting Coach Malzahn and getting to know him better and better, it’s just amazing.”
In addition to being a good fit for Auburn’s offense, Williams said that the Tigers are a good fit because he’ll have one of his close friends along for the journey with him. Teammates at Mississippi Gulf Coast with Auburn commitment Derrick Moncrief, he said that makes this commitment even more special.
“Derrick Moncrief is my boy,” Williams said. “We have been at Mississippi Gulf Coast since I first got there. At first we bumped heads, but after that it’s like he’s my backbone now. I’m 21 and he’s 12 and we’re going to do it. Moncrief has the same mentality I’ve got and we’re going to ball because it’s in us. We’re just going to handle business.
“We’re trying to change this program around,” he added. “Last year they had a bad season. I know they are targeted this year, but they are going to set the tone. If they don’t set the tone then I’m going to set the tone.”
Originally committed to LSU before backing off that decision two weeks later in May, Williams said this time his decision is one he’s comfortable with and there is no looking back for him.
“This is it,” Williams said. “The LSU situation, I’m not going to say I was pressured into it, but I didn’t feel comfortable with my decision and that’s why I de-committed. This one I knew it was right since I walked on that field. I just felt it and when I did I knew it was home.”
Saying right now he doesn’t plan on making any more official visits, Williams added that he hopes to make every home game this fall in Auburn and is ready to see the Tigers in action.
As a freshman Williams caught 67 passes for 1,295 yards with 17 touchdowns.
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