Quentin Williams already had scholarship offers from a handful of Atlantic Coast Conference programs when the Miami Hurricanes stepped in with theirs in January. The in-state North Carolina Tar Heels and Virginia Tech Hokies were two of the first for the three-star defensive end. Miami’s offer was on a slightly different level, though.
“It was very big,” Williams said. “I know my dad was smiling the hardest with this one.”
That’s because Williams grew up a Hurricanes fan even in North Carolina. His father loved Miami, particularly the 1980s iteration and specifically wide receiver Michael Irvin, so he raised his son to love the Hurricanes, too.
“He kind of instilled that in me when I was born,” Williams said.
Now the defensive lineman from Mallard Creek in Charlotte is one of top edge rushers in ACC country and has Miami on his short list of favorites heading into the summer before his senior year. The 6-3, 234-pound prospect quickly lined up a trip to Coral Gables for an unofficial visit with the Hurricanes in April and is already working on a return trip for the summer as Miami continues to make him one of its priority at the position.
The Hurricanes currently hold commitments from only two defensive ends and Williams has started to draw major attention from the Hurricanes. Since he offered Williams, linebackers coach Jonathan Patke has made multiple trips up to Carolina to recruit both Williams and teammate Trenton Simpson, a four-star outside linebacker in the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
Simpson and Williams, whom the composite rankings peg as the No. 23 weakside defensive end in the Class of 2020, are working on setting up an official visit down in the Miami metropolitan area for the next month or so.
“We’re trying to get it set up with me and Trenton going on an official visit together,” Williams said. “Pretty soon.”
Williams already has a sense about what he likes about the Hurricanes, though. He has spent a long time watching Miami, so he knows what Manny Diaz can do for the program in his new capacity as coach. He’s well aware of the Hurricanes’ defensive history, so he knows what Miami looks for in a defensive prospect.
“They like my physicality and my athleticism,” Williams said, “and mostly they just talk about my explosiveness and how I get off the ball.”
When he took his unofficial visit in South Florida earlier this spring, Williams got to learn some of the stuff he didn’t previously know about the school he grew up rooting for.
Another visit with the Hurricanes would only help Williams get an even better idea of what attending Miami would mean. If all goes according to plan for the Hurricanes, they could land a top-notch tandem of out-of-state defensive talent.
“I really like the campus. Academic-wise, there’s a lot to like,” Williams said. “It’s close to downtown and they’ve got outdoor classes and all that. You would think it’s like crazy and stuff, just because it’s like Miami, but it’s a peaceful campus.”