Glenbard South’s Cam Williams commits to Notre Dame, St. Rita’s Pat Farrell picks Illinois

Cam Williams’ football career took a fateful turn when he arrived at Glenbard South early in the pandemic.

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Glenbard South wide receiver Cam Williams, a Notre Dame recruit, is the consensus No. 2 junior in the state.

Glenbard South wide receiver Cam Williams, a Notre Dame recruit, is the consensus No. 2 junior in the state.

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Cam Williams’ football career took a fateful turn when he arrived at Glenbard South early in the pandemic.

Williams had played a variety of positions growing up. “I just remember in the fifth grade, I really wanted to play quarterback because I had an arm,” he said.

But he was a running back before high school when a change seemed advisable.

“I got a little too skinny and long to be running up the middle,” Williams said.

Now, he’s 6-2, 185 pounds, and one of the top wide receivers anywhere in his class. Williams — who is ranked No. 2 in Illinois, No. 18 among receivers, and No. 114 overall nationally in the 247Sports.com composite ratings — also is a Notre Dame recruit.

The recruiting process has been scrambled by the pandemic with college players getting an extra year of eligibility and schools taking more advantage of the transfer portal.

But some high school players can still stand out and get noticed early, as Williams did to Rivals recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove.

“He’s a long kid, great frame and he can run,” Cosgrove said. “After his freshman year, maybe at the North Central camp, he ran 4.51 or 4.52 in the 40. ... He’s big, he’s got the frame, but he can [also] play football. 

“He has come such a long way in such a short period of time. You love his straight-line speed. He’s becoming a polished route runner.”

The Raiders had a premier pitch-and-catch duo last season with quarterback Michael Champagne (1,520 yards, 22 touchdowns) and Williams (37 catches, 671 yards, 11 TDs), and they’re both back for two more seasons.

So there’s plenty of time for Williams to get even better before he heads off to South Bend. He wasn’t expecting his college future to be settled this early.

“[The timeline to commit] kind of kept changing,” he said. “I was thinking about a year, next June, July-ish,” Williams said. “Maybe after [this] season or before [next season}.”

The hardest part of the process might have been breaking the news to one of his biggest fans.

“Me and my grandfather, that side of the family, are Michigan people,” Williams said.

His grandfather kidded him, saying he wouldn’t wear any Notre Dame gear. But maybe he’ll make an exception for a Williams jersey someday.

Rita’s Pat Farrell picks Illini

Illinois coach Bret Bielema added a fifth in-state recruit to his 2023 recruiting class in St. Rita edge rusher Pat Farrell.

The 6-5, 235-pounder is a three-star recruit who is No. 22 in Illinois in the 247Sports composite rankings.

Farrell’s recruiting gained momentum since last season, according to Cosgrove.

“The one thing [colleges] really like about him is his length and upside,” Cosgrove said. “He’s a legitimate 6-4, 6-5 and he plays with his hands. He’s a huge motor kid. He gets coached up at Rita.

“The more I watch him, the more I like him.”

Farrell joins an Illini recruiting class that also includes four-star athlete Kaden Feagin of Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, offensive lineman TJ McMillen of St. Francis, linebacker Antwon Hayden of East St. Louis, and kicker David Olano of Naperville North.

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