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story.lead_photo.caption Jaylin Williams (23) of Fort Smith Northside looks to pass under pressure from Conway defenders Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Kaundart Fieldhouse in Fort Smith. ( Ben Goff)

Fort Smith Northside senior center Jaylin Williams made his first on-campus visit Wednesday afternoon since the hiring of Eric Musselman.

Williams (6-10, 220 pounds) was able to watch the Razorbacks work out and interact with the coaches. The new staff of Musselman, associate head coach Chris Crutchfield and assistants Corey Williams and Clay Moser, has impressed Williams.

“I like all of the coaches,” he said. “We’ve talked a lot over the phone. I’ve talked to coach Williams a lot over the phone and he texts me every now and then. Meeting him was nice and seeing the face of the person I’ve been talking to.”

He liked the intensity of the practice and seeing the coaches intrust the players.

“Just seeing guys scrimmage and see how aggressive they play and how competitive everything is,” he said. “You can see how much the coaches knew about everything and how much the players wanted to be better and how hard they were working.”

ESPN rates Williams a 4-star prospect, the No. 15 center and No. 89 overall prospect in the nation in the 2020 class. He was named the Division I player of the year by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks as a junior, helping the Grizzlies to the Class 6A state title.

Williams, who’s one of four in-state 2020 prospects with an offer from the Razorbacks, said the staff urged him to stay in state.

“They said they want to keep the in-state talent here,” Williams said. “They just want me to stay in and they feel like I can play the role they need.”

Williams has offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Connecticut, Nebraska, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, TCU and others. He recently took an official visit to Oklahoma State and is looking to take a couple of others before making his college decision sometime during his senior season.

“I’m going to take some visits to a couple of schools. I’m not sure yet where I’m going,” he said.


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