UNT Dillion Williams art

North Texas picked up a commitment from Nacogdoches safety Dillion Williams on Tuesday night, just hours before the beginning of the late signing period.

Dillion Williams received a phone call that changed his life in flash on Monday night.

The Nacogdoches safety ranked among the top players in East Texas and likely would have already committed to continue his career on the college level weeks ago had it not been for one problem. 

Williams had yet to qualify academically. The wait to see if he reached that standard ended Monday night when new UNT defensive coordinator Phil Bennett called to tell Williams he had reached his goal.

Williams committed to UNT immediately and announced his decision on his Twitter account Tuesday night, just hours before the opening of the late signing period.

"It was a big relief to find out I qualified," Williams said.

Immediately landing at UNT, a school where Williams feels like he can make an impact, made a whirlwind end to his recruiting process even better.

"North Texas is a great school with great facilities," Williams said. "I have heard a lot about coach Bennett. You can’t pass up on an opportunity like that. He’s a great defensive coordinator, one of the best in college football. Wherever he’s at, that’s the place to be.

Williams, who is 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, plans to sign with UNT on Wednesday. 

Williams was a first-team All-District 9-5A Division II selection this season. He was largely overlooked because of the impact of the coronavirus on college football recruiting and the fact he qualified at the last minute.

Williams said he didn't have the opportunity to participate in the summer recruiting camps that could have elevated his stock.

The top junior college programs in the state all offered Williams a scholarship. He was committed to Trinity Valley before backing out of the pledge just before committing to UNT.

Williams didn't need to make a stop at a two-year school, thanks to the good news Bennett delivered Monday.

"It was a whirlwind deal," Williams said. "I didn’t get the looks I thought I would. North Texas was my best option. It worked out in the end."

Bennett recently joined UNT's staff and told Williams how he would fit in his 4-2-5 scheme.

"He told me I am a great guy to come in and play that safety or nickel role for them," Williams said. "They want someone who can make big plays on third down."

Williams is the 17th high school player to commit to UNT from the 2021 class. UNT also picked up a commitment from North Carolina graduate transfer quarterback Jace Ruder on Tuesday. 

UNT has the third-ranked recruiting class among C-USA schools heading into national signing day, according to 247Sports. 

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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