JaQuay Williams, Will Adams: Signing-day stress for Auburn-bound tandem

Auburn-bound tandem from Sandy Creek: OL Will Adams (left) de-committed from Georgia Tech, while WR JaQuay Williams turned down UGA (AJC)

Auburn-bound duo from Sandy Creek High School: OL Will Adams (left) de-committed from Georgia Tech and turned down a late offer from UGA, while WR JaQuay Williams stuck with the Tigers over UGA (AJC)

– By the AJC’s Doug Roberson

Will Adams and JaQuay Williams each reached into a black nylon bag and pulled out blue Auburn baseball caps. They put pen to paper. Their signing day, which began with an American Idol-like intro to more than 100 people gathered in the media center of Sandy Creek High School, was over.

While the formality took a few seconds, the decisions took much longer.

Adams, 6-foot-7, 290 pounds, is considered one of the nation’s better offensive linemen. Williams, 6-3, 205, is considered one of the better wide receivers.

As of 7 a.m. Wednesday, Williams was still trying to decide between Auburn’s “War Eagle,” or Georgia’s “Go Dawgs.” Adams made up his mind Saturday, spurning a late offer from Georgia and breaking a long commitment to Georgia Tech, a decision that surprised his coach, Chip Walker.

“It has become a very difficult thing with the way recruiting is,” Walker said. “College coaches want you to commit and do things early and then wait the whole time before you can sign.”

The stress wasn’t evident Wednesday morning. The pageantry started with this announcement from athletic director Ken Wood, channeling his best Ryan Seacrest:

“This is the United States of America. This is Georgia. This is Signing Day. …

“And this, ladies and gentlemen, is Sandy Creek High School.”

Parents and students applauded, with cellphones by the dozen popping out to preserve the announcements as several Patriots players, dressed in their Sunday best, announced where they were going. Going last were Adams and Williams, whose names and future destinations were speculated for more than a week as news of last-minute visits to campuses or from coaches surfaced. American Idol’s producers would have proud. But it wasn’t all smiles and photos in the week leading to Wednesday.

Adams began to waver on Tech as soon as Auburn asked him to take an official visit last week. Tech was the only school he had visited. He had grown close to assistant coach Todd Spencer.

“He was one of my favorite coaches up there,” he said.

A few weeks ago during his official visit, he was told that Spencer had been placed on administrative leave for texting. When it was later reported than Spencer was no longer with the team, Adams said he was disappointed and confused. A report Tuesday said that Tech was penalized by the NCAA because someone impermissibly sent two texts to a recruit, known as “Will.” Adams said he never received any texts from any Tech coaches.

Seemingly secure in his commitment to the Yellow Jackets, things began to change last week. Auburn offered him a scholarship Monday. Georgia offered him a scholarship Thursday, but they were too late. Adams decided to visit Auburn on Friday.

He said he knew as soon as he made that decision, he likely wasn’t going to sign with the Jackets. More than anything else, he wanted to be in the SEC. “It means everything,” Adams said.” It’s been a dream of mine for years. Growing up, I was really influenced by the Dawg Nation, to be a Dawg. But deep down, the place I really wanted to go all my life was Auburn.”

Adams spent most of the school day Friday holed up in a classroom and on the phone with Tech’s Paul Johnson and Auburn’s Gene Chizik. When Adams at first decided that he wasn’t going to visit Auburn, he said Johnson told him that was good and that he was going to cancel a visit for a player that was coming to Tech. But Adams changed his mind, reasoning he needed something to compare Tech with. He told Johnson. He left Friday night, taking Williams with him.

Adams told Chizik late Saturday night that he knew Auburn was the place for him. He called Johnson on Sunday, who tried to dissuade him. He said the news about Spencer didn’t cause him to change his mind, but it did play a small part.

“He had a hard time deciding even to take a visit,” Sandy Creek offensive line coach Jamie Glover said. “But on Monday, you could really tell the weight of the world was off him.”

While Adams was happy, Williams was struggling. Long committed to the Tigers, he was starting to waver as Georgia pushed hard.

Adams took Williams to a local mall Monday to buy Auburn hats to wear Wednesday. Williams wasn’t sure he wanted one. He and his uncle, Kevin Ofchus, created a chart on a marker board a long time ago, listing all of the schools under consideration. Georgia wasn’t included. After Williams visited Athens, Georgia was added. Eventually, Auburn and Georgia were the only schools left. He said he felt great at Georgia, and liked coach Mark Richt, but in the end, “I just felt like I was at home at Auburn,” Williams said.

Adams said he will write a book about his recruiting experience. He said he was treated fairly by all the coaches, and had nothing but good things to say about the coaches at Tech.

Standing in an office in the media center, Adams and Williams said they were happy. Adams, wearing a blue pin-striped shirt with blue tie, and Williams, wearing a black shirt and black pants, joked a little bit about getting something to eat.

Signing Day was done.

“It’s such a relief,” Adams said.

– AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

  • So much is happening so fast. Have you missed anything over the last few days? Catch up with our feed by CLICKING HERE
  • BOOKMARK the NEW AJC Recruiting homepage here
  • Want to see a list of all the players in the state of Georgia who have either been offered by or are committed to D1 schools? It’s looong. Go here.

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

71 comments Add your comment

BiggDawgK

February 1st, 2012
11:35 pm

Rough day for ga text.

Teddy Roosevelt

February 2nd, 2012
12:06 am

You win some you lose some in recruiting. Oh well on to someone else to fill his spot.

Tech Man

February 2nd, 2012
12:06 am

Will, good luck at Auburn. Understand this…every young person on the Tech campus could have gone to Auburn. Few, very few at Auburn could get into to Georgia Tech.

MikeP

February 2nd, 2012
12:15 am

“Will, good luck at Auburn. Understand this…every young person on the Tech campus could have gone to Auburn. Few, very few at Auburn could get into to Georgia Tech.”

That’s nonsense and you know it. Auburn has the second most national merit scholars of any public institution. Ask Apple CEO Tim Cook how he fared with his Auburn engineering degree.

FL Jacket

February 2nd, 2012
12:17 am

Will his book explain why he chose not to de-commit first before making Tech cancel another OL recruits’ visit?

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 2nd, 2012
12:24 am

The person writing this article is misinformed. Adams is a three star OL and a two star by one service. He is considered to be as project -far from one of the best in this class of OL. The opinion of Williams is good. Any where from 5th best WR to 16th best. Adams was offered late by Auburn in an attempt to keep Williams in the fold and it worked. Duh’Rick Rogers and his no talent QB teammate in high school was a similar tactic by the Vols.

uga_alum_93

February 2nd, 2012
12:31 am

As a third party let me weigh into this academic debate between Auburn and Tech…Auburn you are not even in the same league as Georgia Tech as far as an engineering school in concerned. They are either the first or second best public engineering school in the nation (behind maybe Cal Tech…I think). Look at the U.S. News and other rankings…Auburn isn’t even in the top tier of the SEC in terms of academic institutions.

Hmmmm....

February 2nd, 2012
12:49 am

”It’s been a dream of mine for years. Growing up, I was really influenced by the Dawg Nation, to be a Dawg. But deep down, the place I really wanted to go all my life was Auburn.”

Rabid UGA fan. Committed to Tech. But really wanted to go to Auburn all along.

Uhhhhh, riiiiight. This kid doesn’t sound like the brightest bulb.

WDE,MF

February 2nd, 2012
2:53 am

And understand this TechMan, nobody on Tech’s football team could play for Auburn.

atltiger15

February 2nd, 2012
5:44 am

Give me an intelligent 6′7 290 lb lineman with some skills.. We can mold him into something special..Ben Grubbs, a two star TE, turned pro bowler with Ravens ring a bell.

ignition

February 2nd, 2012
6:54 am

Aparently Will could..
Will logic didn’t make since and he left The Institute without a replacement OL recruit. Tech had Will pegged when nobody was after him, honestly what he did was not very loyal. But good luck to him at Auburn, him and Avery Young should make great contributions to their line.

TJ

February 2nd, 2012
7:13 am

Project or not, Adams, along with Young, were 2 that UGA really should have gotten given the ongoing issues of depth on OL. But again, couldn’t get it done. Really tired of hearing one of the reasons that we can’t take that “next step” is glaring holes in the O line.

HighTech

February 2nd, 2012
8:21 am

Auburn has always been Plan B for Atlanta area parents whose kids could not get into UGA, too.

Kyle

February 2nd, 2012
8:31 am

Very surprising since his grandfather, uncle, brother and best friend went to gt. He’ll regret this when he’s riding the pine and getting a lesser degree in 3 years.

GT Dad

February 2nd, 2012
8:38 am

Hope it works out for you Will, but your words and actions are a slap in the face to GT. “More than anything he wanted to be in the SEC…..” So you’ve held a spot that could have been open for someone else until the 11th hour. Guess we were your backup plan all along in case something better didn’t work out. In truth, your offer was to help sway your buddy Williams, but that’s how the college game is played these days.

Tech86

February 2nd, 2012
8:42 am

Tech 2-0 against Auburn in this Century,

Techster

February 2nd, 2012
8:42 am

To thine own self be true.

Villappia

February 2nd, 2012
8:53 am

Thanks for ending the debate UGA – I think we can all agree you are the authority on the quality of Engineering schools.

IL Jacket

February 2nd, 2012
8:54 am

Good luck to both of these young men.

valley boy32

February 2nd, 2012
8:56 am

no way i dont understand why these kids want to go alabama or auburn these kids cant read btween the lines i dont get it. if i had a kid i dont care if i was on welfare i wouldnt send my kids to those schools. they say they care cmon really atleast cmr walk it and talk it. i just dont get these kids !!!!

Dekalb Fan

February 2nd, 2012
9:04 am

Why are we giving this kid the spotlight. He never had intentions to go to UGA. He strung this out to get that last week of media attention. We got the best WR in the state signed Blake Tibbs!

BigTimeTechFan

February 2nd, 2012
9:12 am

Best of Luck to both, Adams leaving opened a spot and Tech was able to bring in Beau Hankins from Alabama. 6′3″ LB that was offered by the likes of Penn St, Arkansas, Stanford, 4.0 student.

I think all worked out for Will and Tech in the end.

As for the SEC comment, Auburn got killed by ACC’s Clemson last year so don’t think the SEC is all that.

t.bradley

February 2nd, 2012
9:23 am

Its a known fact AU goes into our little sister state and leaves with some of the best talent the state has to offer. UGA and GT are good football teams, but come on even with UGA beating AU last year its still easy to come in and get some good talent from our little sister state. Lets see you try that with the state of AL. It doesn’t happen because MOST (not all) of the time AU and the bama turds lock down the state. You should stop your crying and suck it up. Auburn will always raid GA for talent and get it. Lets wish these kids the best of luck on the great football and educations they will play and recieve. WDE!

tigameat

February 2nd, 2012
9:24 am

why is it when things don’t go your way you resort to trashing a kid and a school? Then you start the mines bigger than yours crap. Grow up dude. Don’t discount someone’s education just because you don’t like their school.

Dekalb Fan

February 2nd, 2012
9:26 am

Go Dawgs! JYD!

dan Millner

February 2nd, 2012
9:29 am

your tech fans are funny! how many BCS championships from the ACC? thats right —— ZERO! stick to math problems!

mmgtfan@aol.com

February 2nd, 2012
9:40 am

Dan Millner- FSU idiot

SEC Football

February 2nd, 2012
9:42 am

HOPE HE WAS NOT USED TO GET WILLIAMS. THE QB AT TENNESSEE TO GET ROGERS HAS ALREADY LEFT THE PROGRAM!!!!!

gabe

February 2nd, 2012
9:47 am

haha I love how it said Jaquay still didn’t have his mind made up at 7AM but gave no evidence of this by a quote. Just wrote it to make UGA feel better.

GT GRAD

February 2nd, 2012
9:55 am

I was hoping Will Adams was smart enough to realize he was being used by Auburn (to prevent JaQuay Williams from changing to UGA) and that he would eventually sign/play his college football at GT. I truly think he would have been a critical player and starting OL player at GT……..I am not to certain Auburn plans to even use him on Saturdays. Time will tell.

I honestly think he made a mistake and he will probably regret this decision later in life……….I wonder if he will admit that “not signing with GT as originally panned” was a bad decision when he writes his book.

I just hired a GT graduate yesterday (I own my own company and he literally started on February 1st)…….I know a significant number of Auburn graduates who are currently out of work. I cannot think of even one GT graduate that I personally know who is currently unemployed. This kinda makes you think a little does it not??

S GA AU FAN

February 2nd, 2012
9:56 am

Welcome to the plains gentlemen.

My brother in law has a GT MBA, you don’t want to be a nerd like him!

DDPO

February 2nd, 2012
9:58 am

Milner… You might want to check your own math. FSU won a BCS National Championship.

Duke Yellowjacket

February 2nd, 2012
9:59 am

The apple (Adams) doesn’t fall far from the tree (his parents). His lack of commitment and integrity also puts his high school coach and future players being recruited at Sandy Creek in an awkward position.

Kudos to Tech for taking the high road despite being left hanging at the eleventh hour by this young man.

Mox

February 2nd, 2012
10:31 am

Am I the only one that thinks Adams looks a little…..”off” doing the whole hat thing????

I’m just saying….

richie

February 2nd, 2012
10:34 am

auburn has no qb to get the ball to the guy,also the lineman will set on the bench……………sad

gabe

February 2nd, 2012
11:14 am

Again, how stupid people are is sad. Both Auburn and Tech are good schools. Rankings are very skewed based on number of student responses given to companies like Businessweek.

I know for a fact that Businessweek has not received enough responses from Auburn graduates this past spring to rank Auburn.

Also, to say that you know Auburn grads without jobs…don’t know GT grads without jobs. Also sounds like a very un-representative sample for someone that should know something about statistics since they are from GT.

There are notable alumni from each school (Apple CEO, Habitat for Humanity founder, Wal-Mart CEO). You make yourself look ignorant making claims that more Auburn grads are unemployed vs. GT grads.

just the truth

February 2nd, 2012
11:49 am

@tigameat ……. it was the timing, not the school itself. You don’t tell your fiance at the alter that your going to marry someone else. Those things should of been worked out previously or your word means nothing going forward.

Scams gone and so is Aub

February 2nd, 2012
12:12 pm

Unless they pay Scam more money to come back, Auburn and Chizhead will remain bottom feeders.

Hollywould

February 2nd, 2012
12:23 pm

Welcome aboard fellows. War Eagle!!

Leg Humpers!!!!

February 2nd, 2012
12:57 pm

Again, as we (states of Alabama, Florida, & Tennessee) stated yesterday….. you leg humpers are really something….JaQuay was a hero the other night when Mark and the Bar B Q boys sucked up to him like a male dawg competing for a bitch in heat. Now you are trashing him and the other kid who was committed to Tech and changed.
Now we are trashing the Engineering school of Auburn!!!!! You guys do realize that for someone from Georgia to go out of state for an education has to pay out of state tuition which causes them to pay more to attend Auburn, Alabama , Florida, etc…. The education must mean something to a kid to go out of state and pay more money…..one of you quote Business Week…Auburn could quote Fortune 500 with relation to the MBA Business School as well as the leading “professional business recruiting companies”…NASA, astronauts Auburn grads…. GT does not have graduates unemployed but Auburn does (what a bone head statement), I would be scared to work for your company….
The statement of bottom feeders…no comment but it just shows your ignorance. Want to see money changing hands go to the Athens, Clark County post office sit in your car and watch who all goes to deposit boxes!!!!!! Enjoy your light football schedule Dawg…Smokey Vol and the Gator are right on your little ole tail.

You're a d-bag

February 2nd, 2012
1:14 pm

Get a job leg humpers….how many schools do you pull for? pick a school and stick with it retard

UGA will still beat toothless tigger

February 2nd, 2012
1:22 pm

auburn still can’t beat GA without scam newton…..in fact, auburns gotten demolished by GA 5 of last 6 years…and no stopping in sight

MR is a Hypocrite

February 2nd, 2012
1:57 pm

Adams picked Auburn because he likes toothless women

iliketacos

February 2nd, 2012
2:37 pm

uga needs to be thanking AUBURN for beating sc last year. That’s the only reason they got to play in the Champ. game in atl….although come to think of it, they didn’t “play” too much in that game. Maybe the dawgies should check with AUBURN and see they will tell them how to beat the Ole Ball Coach. Welcome to all the new men on the plains and WDE!!!!!!!!!

Greg

February 2nd, 2012
2:44 pm

Auburn doesn’t have to beat uga every year to be the better program. Auburn is a better program simply because when they have the talent they don’t squander it. See 2004 and 2010. Uga hasn’t gone undefeated in how long? If y’all don’t win the SEC next year with that soft schedule you’ll really be in trouble with UF on the rise again. UT too for that matter.

Destin Dawg

February 2nd, 2012
2:55 pm

we don’t have an easy scdedule…. Missouri, S.C. and Auburn all away games.. Florida in Jax. is always a road game for us.. not a neutral sight.. should be Atl./Jax. or home/home.. Go Dawgs !!

Dawg Bounty Hunter

February 2nd, 2012
2:56 pm

Chizik only 1 winning year… that’s when he had $cam Newton

Destin Dawg

February 2nd, 2012
2:58 pm

now Malzhan is gone too !!

William Smith

February 2nd, 2012
3:06 pm

Stop the slamming of other Southern schools. Everybody knows schools in the south are nothing but football stadiums with universities attached.

hairydawg

February 2nd, 2012
3:15 pm

iliketacos- 45-7? And you have the audacity to rip on UGA because they didn’t beat LSU? You say the Dawgs didn’t play too much in that game? Do you not recall that LSU had 0, yes0, first downs in the first half? UGA was leading at halftime and it should have been by more. Now, did LSU thump UGA the second half? Sure did. But to suggest they didn’t “play” proves your ignorance. I know, I know. Start in with your “we won it all last year” talk. Good job. Aubarn had a great season. Problem is, you lost Newton and kept Chizik. 8-5 before Newton. 8-5 after Newton. That is what Chizik is, so have fun down there. The party is over at Aubarn. You guys won’t climb above 4th in the west for q while. GATA