Antonio Williams was committed to Wisconsin before ultimately flipping to Ohio State in October 2015, and that move was totally fine with Badgers running backs coach John Settle.
A few weeks before the flip, Williams took to Twitter to criticize then-Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave, saying that the program wouldn’t be “elite” until Stave was gone. The tweet was deleted soon thereafter, but it made its way to the Wisconsin locker room.
4-Star RB recruit who committed to Wisconsin last weekend. pic.twitter.com/qfgUefEwdK
— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) October 3, 2015
Williams sent the tweet after a rough afternoon for Stave in a 10-6 loss to Iowa. Stave was 21-for-32 for 234 yards, and two critical interceptions in the game.
247Sports‘ Evan Flood spoke to Settle about the flip, and the coach said that after that Antonio Williams tweet, Wisconsin players did not want him on the team.
“There’s a reason he’s not here,” running backs coach John Settle said. “We talk about smart, tough dependable. If a guy doesn’t fit that criteria, he wouldn’t do well in this environment.”
“We didn’t chase him,” Settle said. “After he made some comments about one of our family members, I think it was a forgone conclusion that he was welcome to go look at other places.
“The players didn’t want him here.”
To make things worse, the tweet was sent while Williams was on his official visit to Madison. While he deleted the tweet quickly, star running back Corey Clement saw the tweet while it was up, and brought it to the attention of the staff.
“It speaks volumes,” Settle explained. “There’s a culture and an environment here that the players have created. You don’t go out in public and try and criticize a family member. If something happens, you do it in house, especially when you’re not even a part of the family yet.
“I’m proud of Corey for stepping up. The other plays backed him. I think things happen for a reason.”
Antonio Williams was a four-star recruit out of North Carolina, and was ranked as the No. 7 running back in the nation by 247.
He has six carries for 28 yards this season, all in the Buckeyes’ 58-0 win over Rutgers.