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TomVH: An Interview with Vontrell Williams
Illinois has a few top defensive linemen in the 2012 class and Vontrell Williams is included on that list. The 6-foot-2, 263-pound defensive tackle currently holds offers from Bowling Green, CMU, Illinois, and Toledo among others, but has recently been hearing from some big time schools. Michigan is one of those programs showing interest in the Chicago native, and Vontrell took a trip over to Ann Arbor this weekend. Here's a look at his film and what he thought of the visit.
TOM: What was the first thing you saw on your visit?
VONTRELL: When we first got there we saw my dad's old teammate, Coach Hecklinski. After that we went to an academic meeting and saw the academic staff. I learned a lot academic wise and how they help us through college. They make it easier for you to transition.
TOM: Your dad was teammates with Coach Hecklinski?
VONTRELL: Yeah, they played at Western Illinois together. That kind of helps to have someone there that we already trust.
TOM: That's interesting. So what did you guys do after the academic meeting?
VONTRELL: After that we went to watch practice. You would never know that was their first practice. Everything was so crisp, I don't know, everything seemed to be on point like they've been practicing for years. That let me know that Michigan is back now and that Coach Hoke is going to do good things.
TOM: After practice I'm assuming you got to see the facilities and the Big House?
VONTRELL: Man, the weight room was unlike any other weight room. They had some things I've never seen before. It was very professional, it was pretty crazy. They had machines that get you warmed up in less than two minutes. And then the Big House, man, I've never been inside the Big House and there's nothing like being right in the middle of that M. Just looking around and picturing all those fans there it was great.
TOM: After the facilities then did you get a chance to sit down with the coaches?
VONTRELL: Yeah, I was able to meet Coach Montgomery, Coach Hoke, and also Coach Mattison. We met Coach Jackson too and also Coach Singletary. I was impressed by all of them, but I was most impressed with the resume of Coach Mattison. Being the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, it says a lot to come back to Michigan. To coach those guys at the Ravens and to come back really says a lot. It also says a lot about how long the coaching staff will be there. I believe that will be the last place Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison will coach at. I also believe that the coaching staff they have around them they'll bring home some national championships.
TOM: Wow, you have a lot of good things to say about Michigan and this trip, were you a fan of Michigan growing up? Is there a reason you know so much about them?
VONTRELL: I've been a Michigan fan all my life. Just visiting Michigan was a dream come true. Then to have the Michigan coaches like me was another plus. Michigan has always had my eye, I know the fight song and everything.
TOM: With you having such high interest in Michigan, I know they haven't offered yet but did they talk to you about what you need to do to get that offer?
VONTRELL: They talked to me about it, yeah. Coach Mattison was telling me that Michigan isn't like other schools that just throw out offers. They told me that I'm very very high on their list, that I shouldn't get discouraged that they haven't offered yet, and if I do everything I'm supposed to then I'll have an offer eventually.
TOM: What's it like to hear that from a Coach? What goes through your head when you hear him tell you he's interested in you?
VONTRELL: It's an honor that any college wants you, but it's a special honor with Coach Mattison. Achieving everything he's done, it's amazing. For him to actually tell me he wants me to play for his school it means a lot to me. Once upon a time I felt like maybe I wasn't a big time player, but with Coach Mattison telling me that, I know I'm a big time player now.
TOM: With all that being said, when do you want to make your final decision? How is your recruitment going to play out?
VONTRELL: I want to make my decision when I'm 100% sure. While Michigan is a great school I want to take my official visit there to be 100% sure on whichever school. I'll never know just by talking to the coaches on the phone, I need to be there. I need to be around the student body, around the players and the coaches to get to know them more. I just want to be 100%.
TOM: Even thought they haven't offered yet, after this visit where does Michigan stand?
VONTRELL: Michigan is definitely in the top three. I'm still kind of choosing the other schools in the top group, but Michigan is definitely in there.
TOM: Will you be making it back up to Michigan any time soon?
VONTRELL: Yeah, I'll be back up for the spring game. I'll definitely be there for that.