Brent Williams spent eight seasons playing defensive end for the New England Patriots. His son, Massachusetts high school star linebacker Camren Williams, has committed to play his college ball at Penn State.
Patriots' offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was just named the new head coach at PSU. He is replacing Joe Paterno, who was fired in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Talk about a small world.
Yet despite Brent Williams' ties to the Patriots, the family is still sorting out exactly where Camren stands in recruiting.
“The funny thing is that I don't know (O'Brien) at all,” the elder Williams said. “But I still know a lot of the administration and the people in the front office.”
He added, “(O'Brien) is actually reaching out to the compliance department at Penn State to try and get an understanding as to what we are allowed to do meeting-wise. Because he is local here, it may be easier for he and I to meet.”
O'Brien is staying with the Patriots through their 2012 playoff run, which starts this weekend with a home game against the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos. At the same time, he is doing what he can recruiting-wise for Penn State. And a key part of that is retaining the current commitments -- including Camren Williams.
How are thing going on that front?
“Really there is nothing new right now,” Brent Williams said. “(The commits) had a late conversation with Coach O'Brien Sunday.”
That was the first time that anyone in the Williams family had spoken with the Nittany Lions' new coach. While O'Brien retained assistants Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden on his staff, Bill Kenney, who recruited Williams, was not retained.
“Coach Kenney was our main contact,” the elder Williams said. “It was a little different with him for us because he recruited our older son (who went to North Carolina) and he has basically been recruiting our family for six years.”
But they are ready to learn more about the new staff.
“It is a matter of trying to get to know the new coaching staff,” the elder Williams said. “And trying to understand the type of defense they are going to run.
“There are some things that are going to be the same,” he added. “Like the fact that Penn State is a great school. … But at this point we don't know how they are going to use Camren.”
That's something that the Williams family thinks will become more apparent over the next few days.
“He is still putting together his staff,” the elder Williams said. “He was reaching out to all the guys (Sunday) just before the dead period started (Monday), but I think they give one more contact this week.”
Camren Williams attends Catholic Memorial High in West Roxbury, Mass. It is very close to the Patriots' workout facility.
“And Camren works out a lot at the Patriots' facility during the off-season,” Brent Williams said. “It's pretty cool.”
But for now, the Williams family trusts that things will work out the way they should.
“I think Camren was relieved to finally have a chance to speak with (O'Brien) because everything is moving in warp speed,” the elder Williams said. “With trying to get him situated and build a staff and all those things.”
The family is focusing on one big thing throughout the upcoming weeks.
“We are just trying to learn as much as we can about the situation there,” Brent Williams said. “And we are relived that they have a head coach and we are trying to learn as much as we can about him and how Camren is going to fit in.”