Carencro High School running back Kendrell Williams had more college scholarship offers than he can remember on most days.
But in the end, one program kept standing out.
So the returning Acadiana Advocate All-Metro first-team back ended the speculation Wednesday by committing to the UL Ragin’ Cajuns.
“UL really stood out through the entire process,” Williams said. “They stood out from all the other programs. They had coaches calling me it seemed like every single day. They really showed how interested they were in me.”
The 6-foot, 195-pounder said it wasn’t a decision he took lightly. While most of the recruiting process was confined to phone interviews and virtual tours, Williams was able to visit UL twice before the coronavirus shutdown.
“It was a tough decision being that I’ll be over there for the next four years of my life,” Williams said. “I spoke to my brothers, my mom, my sister, my coaches — everybody that’s going to play a part in my life — and they said they felt like it was a very mature decision for me.”
Carencro coach Tony Courville said he is convinced the Cajuns got a steal.
“I think it’s going to work out very well for UL,” Courville said. “UL told him he was very high on their list. He’s a powerful back with great speed. He’s one of those guys who can turn the corner and take it the distance, or he can run you over. He’s all of 4.5 (-second time in the 40-yard dash).”
Williams showed off his speed by winning state in the 400 meters as a sophomore. His power-running ability is displayed with nearly every one of his 244 carries last season that went for 1,935 yards and 25 touchdowns.
“Coach (Billy) Napier and his staff do an excellent job of developing a truly solid personal relationship with their recruitment of athletes,” Courville said.
Williams also had offers from Louisiana Tech, Utah State, Lamar, Texas State, McNeese State, Nicholls State and Northwestern State.
His older brother Kordell is a defensive back at McNeese State.
“He let me do what I wanted,” Williams said of his brother’s influence in recruiting. “He didn’t try to tell me what I should do. He just told me my options. He just showed me the ropes about college football.”
Williams said UL’s recent success in running backs played a role in his commitment. Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell are both on the Doak Walker watch list and Raymond Calais was drafted in the seventh round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April.
“I feel like my running style fits with what UL does,” said Williams, who is also a state championship wrestler at Carencro. “I’ve watched how Trey and Elijah and Raymond run, and I feel like my style really fits UL’s offensive scheme.
“(Running backs) Coach (Jabbar) Juluke was a big part of the recruiting process. It seems like he’s got a lot in store for me in my career at UL.”
Before that takes place, however, Williams has some big plans for his senior season at Carencro.
“I feel like we’re about to have one of the best teams to ever come out of Carencro High,” Williams said. “I feel like we really will have a championship run this year. The coronavirus is the only thing that can stop us.”