High School Sports

Harrison Central QB Tavis Williams is staying in state

Harrison Central quarterback Tavis Williams looks for an open receiver against D'Iberville, Oct. 28, 2016 in Gulfport. Williams committed to Jackson State on Sunday.
Harrison Central quarterback Tavis Williams looks for an open receiver against D'Iberville, Oct. 28, 2016 in Gulfport. Williams committed to Jackson State on Sunday. ttisbell@sunherald.com file

One of the Coast’s top dual-threat quarterbacks is off the market.

Harrison Central senior Tavis Williams announced via Twitter on Sunday that he has verbally committed to Jackson State.

The commitment was a perfect way to conclude his official visit to JSU.

“I think he’s a great fit up there,” HCHS coach Casey Cain said. “They’re looking for a dual-threat quarterback and Tavis can run as fast as most quarterbacks and also has a great arm.

“He’s a great teammate and leader. I think Jackson State hit a home run by getting him.”

Williams’ offensive numbers flourished under Cain the last two years. As a junior, Williams passed for 1,610 yards and 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, while also rushing for 746 yards and eight scores. Williams’ passing numbers dipped slightly as a senior, but he improved his completion percentage to 52 percent while still throwing for 994 yards and 11 touchdowns with a 103.1 QB rating. He also rushed for 994 yards and 10 touchdowns.

With freshman starter Juwan Adams opting to transfer to junior college this offseason, the Tigers will be searching for a new quarterback. That potentially opens the door for Williams to see early playing time.

“Once he learns the playbook and gets reps, I think he’s going to be fine,” Cain said. “I think he could come in and compete right away. Tavis is a really mature kid.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Williams selected JSU over interest from South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana and Troy.

Williams is the second Coast senior to publicly commit to JSU, joining Picayune running back Josh Littles. The lead Red Rebel is also the fourth Coast quarterback to verbally commit to a four-year school, joining Gulfport’s Cleveland Ford (Alcorn State), St. Stanislaus’ Myles Brennan (LSU) and St. Martin’s Wayne Overman III (Air Force).

Possible pipeline?

JSU has shown plenty of interest in the Red Rebels of late. In addition to signing former HCHS lineman Charles Moffett, JSU recently offered junior running back Keon Moore and sophomore lineman Bryce Ramsey.

Looking for an offer

Cain said Williams’ teammate, Jacob Shoemaker, is visiting Southern Miss this weekend. He currently holds offers from Louisiana-Monroe, Central Arkansas, Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls State, Southeast Missouri, Austin Peay and Samford, among others. Shoemaker was an All-South Mississippi selection and participated in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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