DELAND, FL -- Wednesday was decision day for an elite group of seventeen and eighteen year olds.
No answer was more heavily anticipated than the one Avantae Williams was about to give.
A packed DeLand High School gym celebrated the nation's top safety (rivals.com) signing with Miami over Florida.
"That's always where I wanted to be," Williams said. "That's always where I wanted to be. It came down to them and UF. I felt like that was the best thing for me and my family."
It's a win for Manny Diaz's program desperate for a turnaround.
"He's got an unbelievable work ethic," DeLand Head Coach Steve Allen says. "He can't get enough. He's going to be a special dude here in a couple of years. Probably and All-ACC player by the second year."
"The kid has speed," Bulldogs Athletic Director Lance Jenkins added. "He has strength. He has instinct. The big three. That's you want."
That "big three" is apparent when you pop in the tape. A different big three consumes Williams life off the field.
"I put them first and I did everything for the best interest for them."
The 4-star recruit is alluding to his two children, Sevyn (15 months) and Avantae Jr. (four months).
"He had to take that fast route to adulthood his two children," Jenkins said. "The decision he made when he decommitted from Oregon and he based it on his children. That's very respectable."
Williams was committed to Mario Cristobal's Ducks up until December 2019. He opted to stay closer to home to provide a brighter future for Sevyn and Tae Jr.
"That's the start of being a good father," Williams said. "Doing that and putting the kids first, you second. Everything will fall out for itself."
On paper Williams signed to play football at Miami. He really chose to be the best dad he could.
"I think he leaves a great example of what a man is," Jenkins said.
Williams says he plans to head to Coral Gables immediately after graduation in May.