September 21, 2008

Despite loss, Williams upbeat about UT visit

It was the best of times and the worst of times for this weekend for Toney Williams during his visit to the University of Tennessee.

Already a verbal commitment for the Vols' 2009 signing class, Williams got his first gameday experience at Neyland Stadium and left highly impressed.

"I thought it was amazing," said the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Alpharetta, Ga., native. "I thought the team, the atmosphere and the spirit were great. I was blown away. I've never been to a stadium and environment that was that much devoted to the team."

Like all players, coaches and fans, the tougher times for Williams was the way he felt for his future teammates during the Vols' 30-6 loss to fourth-ranked Florida.

"It was tough, but at the same time, it was so exciting to be up there and watch it in person and get a feel for it," Williams said. "I was blown away by the experience, but it was tough to see them lose."

Williams, who brought a couple of his high school classmates with him and chatted with Nigel Mitchell-Thornton among other recruits, wasn't bothered by the fans' boos during the Vols' loss.

"I noticed (the boos) yesterday because I was in the crowd, but once you're on the field, you don't really notice it because you're focused in with what's going on," said Williams, who early this season had a seven-touchdown, 380-yard performance. "Really, I don't pay attention to it.

"I mean, I think it really doesn't matter because a program like that, even when they lose, they're still going to come back and win. Tennessee is always going to bounce back."

Williams tallied 250 yards and four touchdowns Friday night in Milton's 42-13 victory. The three-star prospect and one of the Vols' earliest verbal commitments said he might try to return for Tennessee's late-October showdown against Alabama in Neyland Stadium.

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