August 31, 2014

California guard headed to the SEC

THE RIVALS150: 2015 | 2016

It has been quite a nine day stretch at Auburn. Sunday morning, Bruce Pearl and his staff added four-star combo guard New Williams when he committed on the tail end of his official visit.

A 6-foot-2 senior at Santa Monica (Calif.) High, Williams path to Auburn is an interesting one.

Because of a knee injury suffered late last summer, Williams missed his junior season and the summer circuit. However, he wasn't surprised by Pearl's faith in his game and he feels he will come back stronger than ever.

"No I did not find it surprising," Williams told Rivals.com when asked if he was surprised Pearl pursued him so hard while injured. "Only because coach has been hearing about how hard I have been working and how much better I will be when I get back. How much this injury has matured me.

"It's like I'm a Phoenix, been burned to the ashes but the rise is always better and more complete and I think coach Pearl knows how hard I'm going to work to get it done."

Not surprisingly, Pearl and his staff's faith that Williams would come back stronger than ever played a huge role in him picking the Tigers.

"His faith did play a lot in my decision because I was a highly touted player on the rise before I got hurt," said Williams. "All of those schools didn't believe in me and coach Pearl did, so that made an impact."

Prior to injuring his knee, Williams certainly looked like a prospect on the rise. During the summer of 2013 he showed great instinct attacking the basket, had a nice pull-up jumper and all of the tools to be a very good defender and transition performer. Though he was injured and Rivals.com was unable to rate him verse the rest of the class of 2015, the decision was made to leave him as a four-star prospect even though he isn't ranked and that is because of the potential he showed in the past.

Looking ahead, Williams is focused on playing the point.

"I'm going to be playing a lot of point," said Williams. "I plan on learning the system to a T so when I get to Auburn I can lead."

Williams is the fifth player to pick Auburn in the last nine days and the fourth four-star prospect in their 2015 recruiting class. He joins forwards Danjel Purifoy and Horace Spencer and big man Trayvon Reed (who may enroll in December of 2014) as four-star commitments and three-star juco shooting guard T.J. Dunans is also in the fold.

Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.




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