What led Ashley Williams Jr. to Auburn
Auburn never stopped recruiting Ashley Williams Jr.
After the 4-star edge committed to Nebraska in early July, every school mostly dropped communication with Williams — except for Auburn.
The Tigers kept in contact with the Zachary, La., native and got him on campus for their Big Cat recruiting event July 30. Williams decommitted from Nebraska the next day and three days after that, committed to Auburn.
"Whenever I committed to Nebraska first, they were really the only program talking to me after my commitment," Williams said of Auburn. "It was also my first SEC school offer as well."
He joined Wilky Denaud as the second edge rusher in the 2023 class, a position that Auburn will need to reload at following this season. Auburn made that clear to Williams and he looks forward to contributing.
"I love it," Williams said. "They talked about how I gotta be on my A-game first day I get to campus, because they don’t really have a lot of guys and I gotta step up."
Williams' goal is not just to step into a contributing role, he wants to become an NFL-caliber player while at Auburn. He believes edge coach Roc Bellantoni has the coaching experience and methods to get him there.
"That’s my guy. [Bellantoni]'s gonna keep it real with you," Williams said. "He isn’t gonna lie to you or anything in your recruitment process or even like just talking in general. He took a lot of college guys to the NFL, so that means a lot as well."
The decision to decommit from Nebraska came three weeks after his initial commitment. Lack of communication between Nebraska's coaching staff and Williams prompted the decision.
"The coaches weren’t really talking with me as much after my commitment," Williams said. "That kinda made me think I should decommit."
Attending Big Cat allowed Williams to catch up with the Auburn coaching staff, which pushed hard for the edge to commit to Auburn.
"They were waiting for me to commit the whole day, actually," Williams said.
Williams will be back in Auburn for his official visit the weekend of the LSU game, which falls on the first weekend in October.