The Recruiting Guy:

Joe T. Robinson's Zach Williams commits to Hogs

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Thursday, July 5, 2018
Mena quarterback Carson Cannon is sacked by Robinson defender Zach Williams during a game Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Little Rock.
Photo by Jimmy Jones
Mena quarterback Carson Cannon is sacked by Robinson defender Zach Williams during a game Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Little Rock.

The Arkansas Razorbacks and Coach Chad Morris received their third commitment of the week Thursday evening when defensive end Zach Williams announced his commitment to the Hogs on the Recruiting Thursday radio show.

“I think over all these schools I visited, I weighed my pros and cons…I felt like Arkansas was the best option for me even though some were very close,” Williams said. “I felt like there was nothing better than home I guess since I was raised around Arkansas.”

Williams (6-4, 225 pounds, 4.57 seconds on the 40-yard dash), who plays for Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock, picked the Hogs over 26 other scholarship offers from schools like Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon, Florida, TCU, Oregon State and Louisville. ESPN rates him a 4-star prospect.

He told Morris on Monday of his desire to play at Arkansas.

“He was really happy,” Williams said. “He was ‘Woo Pig Sooie' this and that. He was very excited.”

He becomes the second son of a former Razorback to pledge to the Hogs for the 2019 class. Fellow defensive end Mataio Soli, the son of Junior Soli, who played nose guard for the Hogs and earned All-SEC honors in 1995, is also committed.

Williams’ father Rickey was an All-Southwest Conference linebacker at Arkansas in 1987. He said his father and mother Keli wanted him to think things over after he told them of his decision.

“He first said, ‘Am I sure?’” Williams said. “I think this was a couple of weeks ago and then they didn't want me to not commit as soon as I figured I wanted to go there because they wanted to see if I would change my mind over the next few days.”

He recorded 65 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 3 recovered fumbles and 1 forced fumble as a junior. The Hogs recruiting him as a defensive end played a role in choosing the Razorbacks.

“Some coaches were trying to get me as an outside linebacker, others a defensive end and others as a hybrid,” Williams said.

Williams, who has a 3.6 grade point average, is a lover of animals and plans to major in animal sciences or biology in college with hopes of becoming a veterinarian, zoologist or marine biologist.

His relationship with Morris, defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell, tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. and others on the staff helped him feel comfortable.

“Out of all the schools, I felt like I was the closest with Arkansas because they were not really open, but like more family oriented,” Williams said. “They treated me like I was already one of them.”

Williams and Lunney have known one another longer than any other coach recruiting him.

“He doesn’t really talk about just football and recruiting,” Williams said. “He really asks what I do and what I like to do for fun and what do I want to do when I come up here. Probably four out of ten times he talks about football and then the rest is other things.”

Williams is the Hogs’ ninth commitment for the 2019 class.


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