When Tiquan Underwood left Rutgers to take the vacated wide receivers coach job at Pitt, one of the first people he told was Hykeem Williams.
In fact, if Williams remembers it correctly, he remembers Underwood saying he was the first to be told of the news.
There’s a very deep bond that’s been established between Williams and Underwood — which includes Hykeem’s mother Donna — but it wasn’t quite enough to secure a commitment to Pitt at Williams’ commitment ceremony Saturday.
Williams committed to Florida State over Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Pitt and Texas A&M Saturday, unveiling an FSU jersey as he was flanked by former Florida State All-American wide receivers in Peter Warrick and “Snoop” Minnis.
But while Williams committed to Florida State, he’s not locked into that decision quite yet, even if he thinks FSU is the one right now. Williams confirmed that he’s not locking down his recruiting process right now, as he’s still communicating with a handful of schools.
“I think I’m still going to be talking to maybe, three schools,” Williams said Saturday. “Other than that, that’s it. Pitt, Texas A&M and Bama. And Miami, that’s four.”
There’s still a planned official visit to Texas A&M just before National Signing Day in December, and that’s the only official on his radar right now. He’s already made an official visit to Pitt, along with a practice visit over the spring and a game-day visit against Tennessee, and he’s loved what he’s seen in terms of atmosphere and brotherhood on the field. But he also loves the view.
“So, my first time at Pitt, we got off the plane and we were riding to campus, and I tell you that’s the most boring place I’ve ever been,” Williams laughed, drawing reproach from Donna. “Until I hit the tunnel. So, it’s boring and then you hit the tunnel and it’s like going into a whole ‘nother world. And into the tunnel, it just lit up. It’s the most beautiful thing you can see, and I like that.”
While there’s no guarantee that the new Florida State is even considering a potential swap down the line, he’s still thinking about Pitt. And it all still runs through Underwood and that connection they’ve built since he arrived at Pitt over the winter.
“It’s very important,” Williams said. “He’s been there from the beginning. He helped me with a lot, just opening my eyes to certain stuff. It’s crazy.”
The commitment to Florida State complicates the relationship a little bit, but Williams is interested to see how or if it’ll impact their communication.
Does the commitment change the relationship at all? “We’ll see.”
Do you think Underwood will continue to recruit just as hard? “We’ll see.”
There isn’t really a sure-fire way for Pitt or any of the other schools that Williams is communicating with to stand out. Besides winning games, which is something he will be watching going forward.
Williams, the 22nd-ranked recruit in the class of 2023 by 247Sports and the 16th-ranked recruit in the class of 2023 by Rivals, is a consensus five-star Florida State, but Pitt isn’t quite out of the race yet.