Dwight Williams was at the Coliseum as a USC recruit on Nov. 24th, but the 2014 California linebacker had his eyes on the opposition.
“I went to the game, the USC-Notre Dame game,” the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder from Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., said. “I kept my eye glued to Manti Te’o. He’s phenomenal.”
Williams already holds offers UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State, Colorado and Boise State.
“It’s a blessing,” said Williams.
Notre Dame is among those other programs with serious interest and West Coast recruiter Mike Denbrock brought head coach Brian Kelly with him to the school after the win over USC.
“It was incredible,” said Williams. “I talk to Coach Denbrock a lot through Facebook, so we’ve been in contact for quite some time. I talked to Coach Denbrock after the game about recruiting and he said he was going to stop by and say hello. He said he wasn’t going to go back until he saw me and he was bringing Coach Kelly with him.
“It felt great knowing that the head coach would come out and see me.”
Williams already had a great appreciation for the Irish.
“I love Notre Dame,” he said. “I’ve always been a big fan of their law program and academics.”
And while Williams had his eyes on Te’o against the Trojans, it was a future Irish linebacker that Denbrock mentioned later on.
“He kind of broke some stuff down for me about the outside linebacker spot,” said Williams. “I can run around and make plays in space, kind of like Jaylon Smith that they have committed right now.”
College scouts like the blend of size and speed possessed by Williams, who has been clocked at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. “I guess they like that I’m athletic too,” he added.
No schools are standing out at this point, but Notre Dame definitely has his eye.
“Everybody is pretty much even right now, I like Notre Dame though,” he said. “I haven’t really made a decision on top schools or anything.”
He does have an idea of what will be important when he’s looking at programs.
“Academics will be first and then I’ll look at the coaching staff and if I feel at home out there,” he said. “Then we can go from there.”
Williams has already visited the local schools multiple times and has plans to get out more eventually.
“In the summer, I’m going to start hitting it hard and getting out of state,” he said. “I’ve been down to UCLA and USC a number of times.”
Could Notre Dame end up on the itinerary?
“Definitely. Of course.”