The Recruiting Guy:

Maleek Williams doesn't feel entitled going into the fall

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Monday, May 15, 2017
Arkansas receiver Maleek Williams makes a catch Tuesday, March 28, 2017, during spring practice at the UA practice facility in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas receiver Maleek Williams makes a catch Tuesday, March 28, 2017, during spring practice at the UA practice facility in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas freshman running back Maleek Williams is expected to have a heavier workload in the fall because of the retirement of running back Rawleigh Williams III from football.

“It’s all up to me,” Williams said. “Nothing is entitled or just because you did well in a scrimmage or in a game. It doesn’t mean it’s promised that you’re going to do well. You have to earn it every day.”

Williams, 6-0, 230 pounds, enrolled in January and went through offseason workouts and spring practice. He chose the Hogs over Illinois, South Florida, North Carolina, Boston College, Kentucky, Tennessee and others.

He admits he had to break plenty of bad habits from high school, including being patient to the hole.

“I developed a lot of bad habits in high school, and coach is always telling he can’t keep telling me the same things,” Williams said. “So I have break my bad habits, and that’s always a tough thing to do because you do bad habits without thinking about them.”

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rated Williams a 4-star prospect. As a senior, Williams had 163 rushes for 1,294 yards and 23 touchdowns after rushing 59 times for 664 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior.

The transition from high school to college has been a smooth one for Williams.

“My high school really prepared me well for college because my high school was tough on me, and I learned a lot of things,” Williams said. “I learned how to manage my time a lot, especially when I started taking online classes to be an early graduate.”

Williams said he tries to map out his schedule each morning.

“You just have to stay on top of it,” Williams said. “I never want to be in a position like I’m not in control of my schedule.”

He rooms with redshirt freshman receiver Tobias Enlow and redshirt defensive back Micahh Smith. Williams said the upperclassmen have been good to him.

“It’s great,” Williams said. “They always guide me.”

Williams, who was one of nine early enrollees, is looking forward to seeing the remaining members of his class on campus.

“I think when my class gets here, it’s going to be fun to grow with them because it’s our class,” Williams said.

Being away from his family has been the most difficult part of going off to college.

It’s probably the toughest because it’s always been my family … but it’s for a good purpose,” Williams said. “They’re proud of me and want me to do this.”

One of the highlights of Williams’ spring break was spending time with his 6-year-old brother.

“My little brother is in kindergarten, and he had a backpack with a little Razorback on it,” Williams said. “Someone from my mother's work place is a big Razorback fan and they bought him a little Razorback logo and I thought that was cool.

“It kind of bothers me that I can’t see him every day, but just to know that he thinks about me, that’s good. It was kind of tough for me to leave him because he’s so young.”


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