The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program will have an early enrollee for the second year in a row.
All-state linebacker Deddric Williams of Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., not only has committed to UTC but will begin taking classes when the spring semester starts Monday.
"He's got everything you could want athletically, and then he's got all the intangibles, too," said Hillcrest coach Adam Winegarden, a former UTC quarterback and Dalton High coach. "I think he'll be a great addition for [UTC]."
Hillcrest went 12-1 this season and reached the quarterfinals of the Class 6A playoffs. Last month the Alabama Sports Writers Association released the all-state teams and the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Williams made the Class 6A defense.
"Any time you become first-team all-state in the highest classification in our state, you're obviously pretty good," Winegarden said with a laugh. "He had a great year."
Williams, who also lined up in the backfield in red-zone situations, is the Mocs' seventh commitment but the only early enrollee. He was one of eight recruits to visit UTC in early December.
Last January, offensive lineman Shaun Hill enrolled in January. Unfortunately for Hill, shoulder surgery kept him out of spring practice and he appeared in just three games in 2011.
At UTC, Williams will be reunited with another all-state Hillcrest graduate, defensive tackle Toyvian Brand. As a true freshman in 2011, Brand started five games.
Winegarden said Williams came to him with the idea of graduating early.
"We had talked in the summer and he had told me that he had an opportunity to graduate early if he loaded up all core classes this [fall] semester," Winegarden said. "I understood his reasons why and we let him do it. I couldn't be more proud of him for having the guts to do it."
UTC's coaches will hit the road recruiting today, and head coach Russ Huesman said a group of about 10 recruits will make official visits this weekend.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...