Northern Illinois Recruiting
Those that have watched Mark Williams of Cleveland (OH)’s Benedictine High School and the TNBA East AAU program over the last year have described him as an ‘old-school’ big man. The 6-foot-8, 245-lb big man prospect in the Class of 2013 is not looking to play on the wing, face-up and shoot three-pointers. Instead he plans to go on the low block, fight for position and finish in the paint. He uses his strength and size to carve out space on the boards and to defend in the paint.
Williams drew a lot of interest from college coaches in the summer because of those traits. The willingness to play inside and bring that toughness attracted many programs to take an interest in him. His recruiting has slowed a bit this fall because of injuries, but expect many schools to be checking him ou this season.
“Many colleges didn’t come out this fall because I was injured,” Williamssaid when asked about visits from colleges this fall. “I had a slight fracture in my right shin.”
Still, the list of schools actively recruiting Williams that he is considering is an impressive list with Cincinnati, Indiana, Indiana State, Akron, Kent State, Robert Morris, George Mason, Xavier, West Virginia, Florida State, Central Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Northwestern and Northern Illinois all getting a mention from Williams. The list spans many conferences and levels of Division 1-A basketball, a point he noted when he talked about the possibility of playing outside what we currently know as the BCS conferences.
“Kent State by far…made me understand that you dont have to go to a big conference to play top notch basketball,” Williams said.
Williams, who hopes to work on his athleticism this season as he progresses as a player and has a goal of winning a state title at Benedictine, currently has no favorites, but has an impressive offer list to choose from.
“No favorites just yet,” said Williams, “but Indiana, Ohio, Kent State, Robert Morris, George Mason, Central Florida [and] Toledo [have offered].”
When it comes time for a decision, Williams will likely keep it simple, looking at “location and just a family atmosphere” as factors likely to play the biggest role in his decision.
NBE will certainly keep an eye on Mark Williams this season and the developments in his recruitment. The ‘old-school’ Class of 2013 big man will definitely be one to watch in the next year as he becomes more of a priority for college recruiters.