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Karlos Williams becoming a leader

1/2/2011

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As good as four-star safety Karlos Williams (Davenport, Fla./Ridge) has played during the practices leading up to the Under Armour All-America Game, he is becoming an even better leader. On Day 2, the future Seminole took command of the White team secondary.

"I think it's just in my personality," Williams explained. "First, I am with a great group of guys. We are a unit and a team. Everyone is the leader in the huddle. The defensive line has their guy in A.J. Johnson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) who takes command of the linebackers. You just take control of it. Then, when the huddle breaks you work together as a unit."

That's the hard part of playing in an All-Star setting because players only have so many practices to get on the same page and put it all together as a defense. Williams and his defensive mates have played well over the first two days. In fact, not much is getting by them and Williams had a pick six on Sunday off of USC-bound quarterback Max Wittek (New Port Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) in 11 on 11 at the end of the practice session.

"I give the credit on that one to Keelin Smith (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast)," Williams said. "He's playing so well and we are starting to really feel each other out. He's playing the free safety and I am playing strong safety. He's feeding guys into me and that's what happened on that interception. It's coming along. Over these two days we have only given up two deep balls. That's pretty good considering what is out there."

What's also pretty good is the group of prospects Jimbo Fisher is putting together with his 2011 Florida State recruiting class. With Williams as the headliner, the Seminoles currently have the No. 3 class in the country but he believes more help is on the way.

"We are going out and going to get these guys like Nick O'Leary (West Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) and Tony Steward (St. Augustine, Fla./Menendez). There are some great guys that we are going to close with. They are seeing the talent level coming together [at FSU]. I guarantee we will play together and win a championship."

OL improves
On Saturday, the White team defensive line was absolutely dominant, but that wasn't the case on Sunday. The offensive line practiced better and even got some bone-jarring hits during the scrimmage at the end of practice.

Perhaps the hit of the day was from center Trey Pettis (DeLand, Fla./DeLand) on five-star defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (New Orleans, La./O. Perry Walker), the nation's No. 2 overall prospect. On a run sweep Johnson was chasing laterally and had no idea what was coming. Pettis collided with him chest high and de-cleated Johnosn in a crushing impact. It happened so fast Johnson had no idea what hit him.

"That's football," Johnson said with a smile. "I love it. But I have to say, that doesn't happen to me. Hats off to who did that."

Afterwards, Pettis was all smiles, proud of the play he made and the effort his offensive line teammates made on the second day of practice.

"That was good and it really did put a smile on my face," Pettis said. "I had the opportunity and took it. But I have to say that [Johnson] is a great player. I mean a great player.

"I feel like I am getting better. That was a win for the OL. We got the better of them today. There was that hit and a few more. We are finally starting to gel."

Vaughters weighing options
Reports started to circulate on Sunday that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh may not be around to coach the Cardinal next season. One of the Cardinal commits, linebacker James Vaughters (Tucker, Ga./Tucker), weighed in on the potential coaching change in Palo Alto.

"It's still Stanford and a great education and I am thinking about [this decision] a lot," Vaughters said. "I think I will stay but I will weigh my options one more time because I have to. I want to get a great education and play where the football is good. That's my expectations of college. I am still committed but I want to see happens to the Stanford coaching staff. If they stay I will. It not then I am not sure. I have lots of options and will weigh them all."

So what are Vaughters options, if not Stanford?

"Ohio State of course. And I may have to check out [Will] Muscamp at Florida," said Vaughters.

In the meantime, he is trying to get acclimated to playing with and against some of the country's top high school football players.

"I have run into some real 6-4 and 300-pound linemen. I have not seen speed like this," Vaughters said. "I am making adjustments and trying to use my strengths to my advantage. I just need to stay strong, keep my feet and play with leverage."

Jennings out, but here
Four-star athlete Darius Jennings (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) played in the Chesapeake Bowl last Thursday and suffered a concussion, which has kept him out of the practices.

"I noticed the headaches and stuff for a few days after. I went to the doctor and they said I could play for a week. That game was on Thursday and this game is Wednesday. That means I can't play. It stinks but I am here. I'm going to try and enjoy the week. But I have to say I am very disappointed. I really wanted to play."

Jennings is down to three schools. He has already visited Ohio State and Virginia and he will make his last official visit to Wake Forest on Jan. 14.

"Right now I am open. I had two really good trips to Ohio State and Virginia. Ohio State likes me as a cornerback. Virginia likes me on offense at receiver. I may get a chance to play quarterback at Wake. We'll see.

"At this time I do not know when I will make my decision."

Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.