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July 9, 2013Matt Williams didn't mind the heat or the competition last weekend at the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas.
One of approximately 30 quarterbacks from the 2015 and '16 signing classes to compete, the rising junior from Lancaster Christian Academy believes he made a mark.
"Man, that was great. It was hot, but it was a lot of fun. I just think I did great. I was better than most of them out there," said Williams, who measured in at 196 pounds and nearly 6 feet, 2 inches. "The coaches there liked my timing on throws, liked my drop-backs a lot. They didn't really have any problem with me. I know the head guy really liked me a lot."
Williams has recently been on Rocky Top and is hearing from a handful of other BCS schools, including Vanderbilt. But he viewed the Rivals event as an opportunity to make a statement.
"I know going into that camp I put it in my head that I was never going to get that day back. I wanted to leave everything on the field, and I did," said Williams.
Apparently, the buzz around Williams' performance, even though not quite enough to land him a spot on the top eight quarterbacks list, quickly made its way back to Tennessee. The Midstate standout found himself visiting with the coaches at nearby Vanderbilt on Monday upon his return, and he's not done this week showcasing his skills in Nashville.
"I'm doing a private thing for Vandy with the coaches, (plus fellow prospects) Josh Malone, A.J. Morris and I can bring a third receiver if I'd like to," Williams said. "I know I'm going to throw for the head coach and quarterbacks coach (Wednesday)."
Williams said he's consistently hearing from Louisville, Murray State, Miami (Ohio), South Carolina and North Carolina. But, like the AT&T commercial, Williams wants more.
"It makes me want to get more. It just makes me want to keep working. I want to be able to choose where I go," Williams said, "and not just have four or five schools and be like, 'Well, will they take me?' I want to be able to have 34 offers."
Williams has long worked out with Malone, Rashaan Gaulden and other top-level Midstate prospects in conjunction with Playmakers Academy/In Full Motion. He credits the weekly sessions to a key in helping to develop his game and to also show where he must improve.
"Oh that helps me a lot. Because I actually get to throw with receivers who have the potential to play at the next level and are going to play at the next level," Williams said. "It makes me step my game up. My footwork has to be faster, reads have to be quicker, and being able to place the ball in a certain spot is necessary because it's expected."
Williams, who admitted his recent work on Rocky Top with the Vols' new staff wasn't his best work, made clear he'd welcome another chance to throw for Tennessee's coaches.
"The new staff, yeah I'd like to throw for them again," Williams said. "I'd like them to know what they're missing out on."