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June 18, 2012
Dallas Jackson is the National High School Sports Analyst for Rivals. Email him your questions and comments at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln wide receiver Taj Williams is the recipient of 17 major college football offers. He is headed to the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and he is an eyewitness to what other receivers in the event can do.
Williams and fellow Challenge participant Reggie Davis are part of one of the most talented receiving duos in the nation at the North Florida school.
While the two compete for receptions on the football field, they are friends off of it. It is a friendship that Williams said may have to be put on hold come June 22-24 at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta.
"Me and Reggie are really close," he said. "We have been since middle school.
"We may have to not be friends for a few days, though."
Williams is rated the No. 22 player at his position and No. 177 overall in the country. Davis is the No. 16 receiver and the No. 118th player overall.
It is a ranking that Williams said could change on any given day at practice.
"Some days I think that he is better than me out there," Williams said. "Some days I think I was the better player. It changes, so maybe this camp will help separate us a little."
At 6-foot-4, Williams is four inches taller than Davis. He is nearly 10 pounds heavier and runs almost a tenth of a second faster in the 40-yard dash.
"We push each other," he said. "I am sure we will be talking about each rep while we are there, too."
Both will be looking to shine and Davis said failure is not an option.
"I am going to expose some people," he said. "That is the point of me going."
For Williams, his point in going is to continue his progression as a receiver.
"I want to get better, that is first and foremost," Williams said. "I think I can improve and I am excited to stay the weekend and get a chance to work with the coaches and get better.
"I want to have fun, but I am going to be taking things seriously."
Williams has already started looking at the cornerbacks that he will be going against for the weekend.
"I didn't remember any of their names but I saw there were a bunch of taller guys out there," he said. "That is what I need to be there.
"The small corners, I feel like I should beat them every time. I mean just throw the ball up and I will get that one. The tall guys give me my challenge so I am ready for that."
"I think we will come out equal," he joked. "That is the way it always seems to be. I am better sometimes and he is better others."
Mike Farrell's take
There is an advantage for the Southeast team having two of its five receivers hail from the same team because Williams is the big, outside threat and his teammate Reggie Davis is the slot guy and they work off each other very well. Williams will be a red-zone threat and the Southeast team is so loaded at wide receiver and tight end that the only question will be who gets the ball when they are trying to score. Williams, at 6-4, will certainly be one of the first options.