LITTLE ROCK — For the second time in three days, 2020 Hog offer Jaylin Williams (6-10 forward / center, Fort Smith Northside, composite national No. 66 / 4-star prospect) got to hang with Head Hog Eric Musselman, who along with assistant coach Clay Moser was in Fort Smith on Tuesday to watch Williams practice.
“I’m thankful that they have interest in me and believe in me as a player, knowing that they see me being able to help their university is a great feeling,” Williams said on Tuesday following Grizzlies’ practice. “I’m talking to one of the (Arkansas) coaches every other day, either it’s Coach (Corey) Williams or Coach Muss. I’m texting them every day, pretty much, and they’re calling me every other day.
“It’s been a big change when the coaching change came, but getting to know them has been good, and knowing Coach Muss can make me a better player.”
Williams was at Arkansas on Sunday to do a photo shoot with Musselman. He also took an unofficial visit to Arkansas in late June. And Tuesday’s visit by Arkansas coaches was not the staff’s first time to see Williams at Northside as special assistant Hays Myers stopped in last spring to check on him.
Williams said Arkansas coaches continue to tell him they view him as a versatile big who would be a great fit in their system.
“They like that I’m a tall defender that can move, and they said I can space the floor,” Williams said. “I can hit the outside shot if I need to, if I can get the rebound and take off down court they know I can do it. And they just like that I can do all that.”
Williams recently whittled his list of top schools down to 7 — Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Auburn, Texas A&M, UConn, Illinois, and Iowa State. He has four official visits remaining after taking his first OV to Oklahoma State in June, and he only has definite plans to take an OV to Arkansas in the near future.
“I know I’m going to take one to Arkansas soon,” Williams said. “I’m thinking I’m going to take one to Auburn, and most likely Texas A&M. For that last one, I’m not really sure about it.”
Asked if he’ll sign early (mid-November signing period) or late (spring signing period that begins in mid-April), Williams said he’s undecided.
“I really haven’t thought that far,” he said. “I mean it comes up every now and then, but I’m not really sure about what I’m going to do yet.”
Williams’ photo op on Sunday was the latest in Musselman’s playful re-enactment of famous NBA moments that were captured in photographs.
“Just took pictures today,” Williams said on Sunday. “It (the photo op) was different. I wasn’t sure at first when they sent me that picture (the NBA version of former players Manute Bol and Mugsy Bogues) before I got there, and when I got there they came in with three basketballs (as seen in the picture posted below) and I knew what we were doing for the photo shoot. It was fun.”
As a junior in high school (2018-19), Williams averaged a double-double (scoring and rebounding) while leading the Grizzlies to the 6A state title, earning MVP honors after putting up 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks in a razor-thin win over Bryant for the championship. Williams’ double-double ways continued through 13 games and 3 sessions playing on the ultra-competitive Nike EYBL circuit this spring, which included him finishing second on the circuit in rebounds per game (10.4).
Linked below are multiple tweets with a video interview and highlights of Jaylin Williams from the Tuesday practice at Fort Smith Northside that Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman and assistant coach Clay Moser both attended, plus a tweeted highlight reel from Williams’ 2019 season playing on the Nike EYBL circuit …