Nick Saban wins over mom of four-star cornerback
Joel Williams is fresh off a visit to Alabama and in this exclusive video interview, Williams gives the latest on his recruitment.
Nick Saban made his impression on Joel Williams earlier this month — this weekend it was all about winning over his mom. Williams, a four-star cornerback recruit in the 2020 class, returned to Tuscaloosa, Ala., with his family over the weekend as he took part in Alabama’s Champions Cookout.
“This time the trip was for my parents because my momma really didn’t agree with Nick Saban until she talked to him,” Williams said. “She talked to him, and she really loves Nick Saban now as a coach. He told her about the whole program, like the classes, what they do after school, after football season, the discipline, all that. She likes him. She really loves him.”
Williams, a native of Baton Rouge, La., grew up in enemy territory and believes his mom developed a negative opinion on the Alabama head coach based on different stories she had heard about him. After meeting with Saban face to face this weekend, she did a complete 180.
“She wasn’t really a Bama fan, but now she’s really a Bama fan,” Williams said. “She really wasn’t feeling Nick. She thought that Nick was like a coach that is mean or something like that until she really met him and talked with him. And like, she really loves him. She’s blown away for real.”
Convincing dad was a bit less of a challenge.
“My dad has been loving Nick Saban,” Williams said. “He saw Nick Saban, and he exploded.”
Williams committed to Florida in May but decided to reopen his commitment on June 10 shortly after receiving an offer from Alabama. He currently lists both schools in his top four along with Tennessee and hometown LSU.
“I’ve been loving Alabama since I was young, and I just needed more time,” Williams said. “I really wanted to be 100 percent on my decision. You know, when I got the offer from Alabama, I really wasn’t 100 (percent) on my decision anymore.”
This past weekend was Williams’ fourth trip to Alabama has he’s been visiting the Crimson Tide since he was in eighth grade. He said he primarily speaks with defensive coordinator Pete Golding but also talks with Saban and cornerbacks coach Karl Scott.
Williams, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, is listed as the No. 27 cornerback in the 2020 class. Alabama currently plans on using him at either cornerback or Star. However, Williams said coaches have also told him he might be a fit at safety.
“They said that they want to put me on the field,” Williams said. “It really doesn’t matter to me. I can play all positions.”
Along with talking to coaches, Williams also spent time with several Alabama commits, who encouraged him to join the Crimson Tide. The pitches seem to be working as the highly-coveted defensive back said he’s starting to feel more and more at home with the Crimson Tide.
“It’s very comfortable at Alabama,” Williams said. “I just walk around like I’m a player. I just really be chilling up there, talking to all the coaches like I been knowing them. The relationships got stronger. Everything’s good there.”
Williams said he plans on making his final decision before the start of his senior season. He did not provide an exact date, only stating he’d commit to a school “earlier than expected.”