BEAVERTON, Ore. — Xavier Williams is the lone Alabama commit at Nike’s The Opening Finals event this year. That’s unusual as the nation’s premier high school football camp is always loaded with Crimson Tide commits roaming the fields at Nike’s headquarters. Last year, the team had eight commitments in Oregon. Alabama only has five commits total this year.
Williams, a 4-star wide receiver from Chaminade-Madonna High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), thinks the Tide’s slow start on the recruiting trail has a lot to do with the talent Alabama signed in the Class of 2017.
“I think some guys are scared to work,” Williams told SEC Country. “You saw that last class? Some guys are looking at that and saying, “How am I going to fit into Alabama?” You’re going to be developed there, regardless. Why not go to the best place in the world?”
He has taken that message to some of the Tide’s top targets in Oregon such as 5-star quarterback Justin Fields, 5-star wide receiver Justyn Ross and 4-star quarterback Jack Tuttle.
“With Justyn Ross, he’s from Alabama,” Williams said. “I saw him when he was walking around the hotel, he had on his Alabama outfit. I know he loves Alabama. I’ve been talking to Jack (Tuttle), and he said it’s a lot of money to travel to Alabama from California. I’m trying to get Justin (Fields) to come back to Alabama on July 21.”
Williams has a very affable personality. He was spotted running behind Ross’ interview yelling “Roll Tide,” which got the quiet Ross to burst out in laughter. The nation’s No. 95 overall recruit says he’s locked in with the Tide and has turned his attention to getting other top recruits to join him in Tuscaloosa.
“It’s a task for other people, but I’m just a natural recruiter,” Williams said.
Alabama has the nation’s No. 61 recruiting class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Williams wants to let Crimson Tide fans that they have no reason to worry about those rankings. This class will be one of the nation’s best when National Signing Day rolls around in February.
“We’re definitely going to finish in the top 10,” Williams said. “The class is starting to pick up right now and guys are starting to feel how I did when I decided on Alabama.
“I mean, where else would you rather go to get developed? You get to play with the best and play against the best in the SEC. You are also going to win championships at Alabama.”