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June 12, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Skyline’s Kasen Williams releases his top 10 list

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Kasen Williams wasn’t satisfied with his sophomore success. He went into his junior year with lofty goals and raised his game to meet them. From helping Skyline win its third straight state football title, to becoming an integral part of the basketball team’s surprise run, he only solidified his place as the state’s top athlete.

As the top-ranked receiver in the nation according to Scout.com — he finished his junior year with 1,209 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns — Williams is being courted by schools from all corners of the country.

So, while he was catching touchdowns and throwing down tip-dunks, he was also working toward making the most difficult decision he’s faced so far, choosing where to play his college football.

He’s been meticulous, slowly ruling out some of the top programs in the nation based on criteria like his relationship with the coaching staff, the atmosphere surrounding the program, the weather, academics — he plans to major in either business or communications — the ability to also compete on the track team and a number of other factors designed to make sure he selects the school that best suits who he is as a person, football player and student.

As one of the top recruits in the nation, Williams’ list of suitors is long and distinguished and, with the help of his family, he’s worked diligently to make the right choice.

“I didn’t make any decisions about a school until I saw what they were all about,” Williams said. “That took a lot of time because I’m busy with three sports and I’m always doing something.”

He understands this decision not only impacts his four years in college, but the rest of his life. He still plans to visit a few universities — Notre Dame, Arkansas and LSU — but he has narrowed his list to 10 schools.

“I think the main thing is just picking out what coaching staff I like the most, because I think that’s really important,” Williams said. “If you can’t get along with the coaches, then you really don’t have the motivation for showing up for practice every morning.”

In addition to conversations with his parents, Aaron and Rhonda, Williams paid close attention to how Gino Simone (Washington State) and Jake Heaps (BYU) went through the recruiting process.

He took a few ideas from each player. He weighed their advice and paired it with his own desires.

“My parents had a big influence and they helped me out along the way, because my sister went through it,” said Williams, whose sister, Kiara, plays soccer at Arizona State. “I also had Gino (Simone) on the team going through the process two years in front of me and then (Jake) Heaps was going through the process as well.

“I wanted to make sure I was doing everything the right way, make sure I was handling everything the right way.”

Kasen Williams’ top 10, in no particular order

Washington

Cal

LSU

Arkansas

Florida

Notre Dame

Alabama

Washington State

Georgia Tech

Oklahoma

Photo credit: Jim Bates / The Seattle Times

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