What could have been for LaQuan Williams

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It’s a struggle to find truly interesting subplots this week beyond “how much must Maryland improve?”

But there is one that’s pretty good.

It belongs to LaQuan Williams, the Maryland wideout who figures to continue receiving extensive playing time for a reserve in the weeks to come.

Oddly enough, there’s a chance he could have played a substantial role in Saturday’s game against James Madison – except as a member of the Dukes.

Williams was a lightly recruited quarterback out of Baltimore Poly, but he did have a firm offer from James Madison. He even committed to the Dukes, but Maryland swooped in in the closing days of the 2006 signing period and and offered him as well.

And that left him with an opportunity that was just too good to pass up.

“A day or two before the final day of commitment, I called coach [J.C.] Price and let him know I was going to sign with Maryland. He understood everything. That definitely was about to be my school.”

Williams had been on Maryland’s radar since his junior year of high school, but the Terps waited until late in the process before deciding they could fit him into their scholarship situation.

And just like that, the Dukes lost a guy who would be a redshirt junior right now.

By the way, James Madison is likely to play a redshirt junior (Drew Dudzik) with minimal experience and a redshirt freshman (Justin Thorpe) with no experience on Saturday. So it easily could have been Williams who also factored into the Dukes’ QB mix at this point.

Williams, though, had no regrets when he made the decision to come to Maryland – nor now that he is in his fourth year in the Terps’ program.

“I figured it was closer to home, more media, more prime time,” Williams said. “I always wanted this opportunity. … I had a good relationship with coach Price, and he already understood. He felt like I was a slip that he shouldn’t have been able to get. I shouldn’t have even been on his list.”

Of course, Williams still has some ties to the Dukes. James Madison tailback Lee Reynolds and defensive end D.J. Bryant – both Baltimore natives – have been in touch with Williams over the summer as their meeting approached.

“We go back and forth,” Williams said. “They still text me ‘Yeah, we got y’all.’”

They’ll find out come Saturday from the side of Byrd Stadium Williams very nearly ended up on.

Patrick Stevens

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