University of Arkansas 2026 commitment Tay Lockett and his stepfather Nate Rozzelle's sales job have convinced highly recruited sophomore receiver Madden Williams to accompany them for the Hogs' game against Texas A&M on Saturday at Arlington, Texas.
"Him and his dad Nate have really been selling me on Arkansas and the whole culture they have over there and how if I want to leave a legacy, Arkansas is the place to do that," Williams said. "Especially being in the SEC going up against all the best teams and all the best coaching I'll be getting from that school and how it would set me up for the NFL and getting me prepared at such a high level."
Williams, 6-2, 180 pounds, of Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, has 17 scholarship offers from schools like Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Notre Dame, Stanford, Washington, Maryland, Michigan State and others.
He said Lockett, a defensive back and teammate, along with his stepfather have talked up Arkansas receivers coach Kenny Guiton, Fayetteville being a great college town and the state's love of the Razorbacks.
"Which is something I really look for. I look for a great connection with my receiver coach because that's the man I'll ultimately be spending the most time with," Williams said.
Williams said Lockett and Rozzelle have talked to him the past two weeks about making the trip to Arlington
"I think on Monday me and my family looked over it and we were like this is definitely a school I might be interested in," Williams said. "It would definitely be great to go and check out a game and see how the coaches coach live and the whole atmosphere and see Arkansas football live in person."
He has 25 receptions for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns in 5 games this season. National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network lists Williams as a 4-star prospect but believes he could reach 5-star status before leaving high school.
"Because of his size, speed and production at one of the top-five [high school] programs in the country," Lemming said of Williams' possible 5-star status.
Williams and Lockett have built a "special bond " the past two years.
"We've become really close and this is definitely a trip I'm excited to be taking," Williams said.
A good experience in Arlington could see Williams making a trip to Fayetteville.
"It's definitely a high possibility, if this goes really well, I'll definitely be looking to visit the campus," Williams said.
Williams' parents grew up Oakland Raider fans and an admirer of late coach and broadcaster John Madden, which led them to naming Madden after the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
His father, Myron Williams, said Arkansas wasn't on his son's radar until Lockett and Rozzelle's "fantastic sales job."
"So definitely, the Tay and Nate influence has done wonders in terms of getting him at least somewhat interested in Razorback football," the elder Williams said.
Myron said he sees Arkansas being a program on the rise after talks with Lockett and Rozzelle.
"It's a program that's looking to bring in guys that can help put it over the top," Myron said. "Guys that want to come in and, like Madden said, create a legacy of their own. Not just jump on the Alabama bandwagon or the Georgia bandwagon or one of the 'blue bloods' of the SEC. That's what Nate's spin has been the whole time. He said, 'I just want to get you down there so you can see it.'
"We're from California, so we don't know a whole lot about Arkansas and Arkansas football. So he said, 'If you get a chance to see it, it's going to change your mind.' This was an opportunity that presented itself, so this is the first step of Madden getting an opportunity to see what Arkansas football is all about."
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