Marrero (La.) John Ehret running back Darrel Williams has been carefully eyeing his options over the last month and there have been several programs show interest in that time span.
The Rivals250 presented by Under Armour back has seen Auburn, Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, and Georgia Tech all enter the picture in some form whether it was an offer or significant interest, but from the beginning one program has been on him harder than any other.
Tuesday night, that team was rewarded when the New Orleans-area standout made the call to Tempe, Ariz., to let the Arizona State Sun Devils know he was ready to commit.
"I feel relieved and now I can concentrate on my senior season," Darrel Williams said. "It's a big weight off my shoulders. I know I have my school and I'm happy. I'm just ready to go play ball this year."
The decision boiled down to a number of factors, but the persistence of offensive coordinator Mike Norvell definitely played a key role.
"Basically from day 1 he was their guy," John Ehret assistant coach Shawn Galmore said. "As soon as (Mike) Norvell saw him he said coach that's our guy we love him. He was No. 1 on their board. He was the No. 1 running back they wanted. They told him if he commits that's a wrap. Plus he's in a situation where he can go in and play next year. It's a legit situation. It's a win-win situation with him. It's a major conference.
"The main part is coach Norvell. He was on him from day one harder than any other guy and he never strayed off the path. He stayed straight and narrow and was honest. Everything. That was the main thing. The commitment is really off of coach Norvell. Plus coach (Todd) Graham, the head coach, is a defensive coach, and coach Norvell is the offensive coordinator so basically he's the head coach of the offense and he's Darrel's guy. That was a main thing right there."
It did not hurt that the Sun Devils have been active in the New Orleans-area. Alex Anderson gave his pledge to the Sun Devils in July, and Williams's cousin Ronald Lewis signed with Arizona State in 2013.
Williams becomes the 14th member of the Sun Devils 2014 recruiting class and the third four-star recruit. He is currently ranked No. 204 in the Rivals250, No. 21 among the nation's running backs, and No. 13 in the state of Louisiana.