Williams transfers to PRCC

Published 8:17 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Former Miami linebacker Willie Williams is transferring to Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, school officials said Monday.

Pearl River coach Tim Hatten said Williams is scheduled to arrive at the school Tuesday.

“Depending on what time he gets here, he will practice with us,” Hatten told Canestime.com, which reported early Monday that Williams’ transfer was imminent.

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Williams asked Miami to release him from his scholarship in July, ending a saga that started in Feb. 2004 — when his record of 11 arrests was revealed publicly on the same day he signed a letter of intent with the Hurricanes.

He was allowed to enroll at Miami, provided he adhered to strict academic and off-field ground rules. But he never became a starter with the Hurricanes, prompting his search for a new school.

Pearl River won the 2004 NJCAA championship, finished last season ranked No. 3 among junior colleges, and are the top-ranked team in this year’s preseason polls.

PRCC, which has won three straight MACJC state championships, opens its 2006 season Aug. 31 against Mississippi Delta in Moorhead ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA’s preseason poll for the second straight year.

Three other MACJC teams are in this year’s preseason Top 25 poll, including No. 7 Mississippi Gulf Coast, No. 17 Northeast Mississippi, and No. 25 Hinds.

Pearl River defeated Gulf Coast 25-19 for the state title last year after the Bulldogs pulled out a high-scoring 55-47 victory in the regular season, snapping a record 23-game winning streak by the Wildcats. PRCC pulled off a last-minute touchdown to defeat Northeast 27-20 in the first round of the 2005 playoffs to earn its berth in the championship bout.

Gulf Coast finished 7-3 a year ago, while Northeast Mississippi finished 7-2 and Hinds 3-4. Northwest Mississippi received votes in the balloting after finishing 1-6 in 2005.

Hatten, a former PRCC wide receiver, is 37-5 at PRCC.