In college football recruiting, everything matters. From height to weight to Grade Point Average to 40-yard dash times. To be considered by a big-time college football program, you’ve got to check all the boxes. Marcus Williamson, committed to Ohio State for nearly two years, certainly meets the prerequisites.
A 4-star prospect out of IMG Academy, Williamson is originally from Westerville, Ohio, about a 15-minute drive from the Buckeyes’ campus. A 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback, Williamson is regarded as the country’s 16th-best player at his position. This past summer, participating in regional events in his adopted home state of Florida, Williamson earned an invitation to Nike’s prestigious recruiting event, The Opening, where he was a member of Team Lunarbeast, which featured six players who had verbally committed to the Buckeyes.
Now just about three weeks from enrolling at Ohio State, Williamson – who made his official visit with the Buckeyes the weekend of Dec. 10 – is ready to start his college career. He talked with Land of 10 about that, as well as a number of other things, in this version of Beyond the Game.
L10: How was your official visit?
Marcus Williamson: It was cool, we had a lot of fun and I got my classes scheduled. I’m taking five classes and 15 credit hours next semester.
L10: Who are you rooming with at Ohio State? Your roommate at IMG is Isaiah Pryor. Will that continue?
MW: No, I’m actually going to room with Brendon White. We’ve been planning that for a long time, before I even met Isaiah.
L10: When you get to college, what’s the biggest thing you’re concerned about? What are you most looking forward to?
MW: I am most looking forward to competing and finally being at that level, I’ve been working hard to get ready for that. My biggest concern? That would just be time management and adjusting to a new life. Being at IMG has really helped me handle that transition better.
L10: You’re done at IMG so what’s the first thing you will do when you get home?
MW: Just see my brother and friends. I don’t really do much besides hang out around the house (laughs).
L10: How do you kill the free time between now and Jan. 9 when you enroll at Ohio State? Video games? TV?
MW: I’m not a big “game head,” but Netflix. I’m a binge-watching king. I’m finishing up “90210” right now (laughs). Not the old one, there’s a new one.
L10: Wait, “90210?” What in the world …
MW: The guys around the team kind of all put each other on to new shows. (LSU commit) Grant Delpit put me onto it. I put everyone onto “Stranger Things.” That’s probably my favorite show ever.
L10: Talk to me about college. When you get there, what’s the music that will always be coming out of yours and Brendon’s room, if you have your choice?
MW: Kanye West. He has no bad albums and every one has its own unique sound. I think that “The Life of Pablo” was the best album of the year. Actually, it might be “Starboy” by The Weeknd. Or “Blond” by Frank Ocean (laughs). I can’t pick between those three.
L10: Best part of being back home has to be the chance to get mom’s home-cooked food, right? What’s your favorite? Do you cook?
MW: I do not cook (laughs). My mom’s chicken alfredo is the best.
L10: How’s it better than, say, Olive Garden? How do you not do chicken alfredo correctly?
MW: Olive Garden is too stingy with the chicken and amount of alfredo sauce (laughs). I need a lot of those.
L10: Let’s rapid fire a few things and I’ll leave you alone. What’s your dream vacation?
MW: Dubai. That place looks awesome.
L10: Most irrational fear?
MW: Snakes, man. Snakes are the spawn of the devil (laughs).
L10: Who makes the best pizza in Columbus and why?
MW: Papa Johns, hands down. It’s the best pizza anywhere on the planet. It’s the crust man, and that garlic sauce.
L10: Most influential person in your life?
MW: Definitely, my mother and father. They’ve always been there for me and are always pushing me to get better. I owe them everything.
L10: If you could pick one woman, for one date, to do anything in the world: who, why and what?
MW: Rihanna. I don’t what a superstar chick would be into, but we’d probably try to do something fun like go-karts (laughs). She’s used to a bunch of fancy stuff, so I’d switch it up on her.
L10: What would you change about college football recruiting, in general or based on your specific recruitment?
MW: As a whole. I wish I could eliminate the whole social media and recruiting love affair. It’s so much about attention nowadays. Personally, I wouldn’t have changed anything. I found a place that fit me and I stuck with it. Maybe committing so early kind of let people forget about me a bit, but that’s fine. All that recruiting attention was never really for me.
L10: What’s the best story you can tell about your future position coach, Kerry Coombs?
MW: As a middle schooler, I camped at the University of Cincinnati and coach Coombs was there for a three-day camp. I just remember being 12 years old, and he ripped into me for not finishing a drill (laughs). Of course, he doesn’t remember it, but it’s funny how things work out and now he’s the guy I’m going to be playing for. I finish my drills now, though.
L10: What’s something about you that fans have no idea about? What would surprise them?
MW: My first sport was wrestling; it was my first love. That’s something coach (Luke) Fickell really liked, since he was a three-time state champ, I believe. An injury my sophomore year, and then my transfer to IMG, kind of ended my career sooner than I would have hoped. Wrestling molded me into who I am and given me a different edge and mindset at a young age. I don’t think I’d be where I am without being a wrestler when I was younger.