Over the years Southern Miss has built a reputation for giving walk-ons the opportunity to earn scholarships and even starting positions. That's part of what is drawing Northwest Rankin (Brandon, Miss.) wide receiver Sam Williams to accept a preferred walk-on offer at Southern Miss.
Williams has offers from Alcorn State, Jackson State and Mississippi College.
"I've accepted the preferred walk-on offer from Southern Miss," Williams said. "I know I can play on that level. I believe that I can earn a scholarship."
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Williams has seen first hand how preferred walk-ons can earn opportunities at Southern Miss.
"A guy from my school walked on at Southern Miss a few years ago and earned a scholarship within a couple of semesters," Williams said.
A preferred walk-on offer guarantees Williams a spot on the Golden Eagles 105 roster. He will not receive any athletic scholarship money for at least two semesters. But, there may not be any out of pocket expenses for the Williams family.
"I've already applied to school," he said. "It looks like pretty much everything will be covered by scholarships at least for the first year."
Williams maintains a 3.9 GPA and has scored 27 on his ACT. He will take the ACT again in the spring in hopes of improving his grades.
Williams plans to major in criminology and forensic science, and Southern Miss has one of the top programs in the region for that field of study.
As a senior Williams helped Northwest Rankin to a 10-3 record, before falling 21-14 to South Panola in the play-offs. Williams finished the season with 60 receptions for 860 yards and four touchdowns. He was also proficient in the return game averaging about 26 yards per kick-off return.
Williams has taken several unofficial visits to Southern Miss over the past year and has met with both Todd Bradford and head coach Larry Fedora.
Williams comes from an athletic family, his father played baseball at Mississippi before transferring to South Alabama. He later played a number of years in the Angel's organization.
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