Quinnen Williams originally committed to Auburn, his dream school when he was younger. He remained solid with the Tigers for five months before backing off his pledge and flipping to in-state rival Alabama.
He never looked back after that. His commitment never wavered. He took one official visit, and that was to Alabama.
Williams, a four-star defensive tackle from Wenonah High School (Birmingham, Ala.), said there was never a doubt in his mind that the Crimson Tide was the team he wanted to play for.
“When I committed, I was ready to sign. I didn’t want to get recruited anymore when I committed,” Williams told SEC Country. “When I committed to Alabama, I was 100 percent solid and just wanted to get more recruits on board.”
The following is a question-and-answer session conducted with Williams in the second edition of our Alabama recruiting rewind series.
If you could give a junior only one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be?
“Don’t let what they got, like the facilities of the school, impact your decision. It doesn’t matter how many championships they have won. It’s your decision.”
Which school came in second?
“Auburn because that was my favorite school ever since I was a little kid. It was a dream come true that the Auburn Tigers came and recruited me. They have a great coaching staff — (Auburn defensive line coach) Rodney Garner, Gus Malzahn — they are great people.”
What could they have done a little better?
“There wasn’t anything in particular. It was a decision that me and my family made together and talked about.”
What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
“Nothing, really. I had a nice, cool, easy recruiting process. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Just a bunch of talking to coaches.”
What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
“A lot of people were just saying that I am a bust. A lot of people think I am overrated. Some people think I’m just going in to play around. A lot of people at my school don’t get recruited. Some people think that Alabama and Auburn were just taking a big chance on me.”
What is the funniest thing any head coach said to you during the entire recruiting process, either on phone or in person?
“Definitely when Nick Saban told me that everyone thinks he doesn’t smile. He told me that and I just kept on laughing. My grandma told me the same thing and we were just laughing together. Nick Saban is a great man to get to know.”
Which coach was it the hardest to say no to?
“Definitely Rodney Garner. We had a great bond. We talked about everything. To tell him that I wasn’t going there was tough. He knew everything about me. Our relationship changed after I committed.”
Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
“There really wasn’t any school. Alabama was just the No. 1 school for me. I wanted to stay in-state, so Alabama or Auburn were the only two schools that I would consider. I didn’t want to go out of state.”
Which head coach of a team that you did not sign with was the nicest?
“Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was super great to me. Just to get to know him on a personal basis and talk about life stuff, football and family was really nice.”
If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
“All of the coaches can come see you whenever they want to. Building a relationship with coaches face-to-face is so important.”
Other recruiting rewinds:
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.