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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Supreme Excel Working To Put Northeast On Map

March 14, 2020

WILBRAHAM, Mass. – Stack Williams and Bill Watson understand that top prospects in the New England are often considered to be big fish in a small pond, but they believe in the region’s talents and are actively seeking a larger body of water for their prospects to swim.

Williams has trained and advised Division-I talent as CEO of Supreme Athlete in Connecticut for years while Watson has done similar work coaching elite youth and high school squads for more than a decade in Massachusetts, including 7-on-7 teams under the Excel New England umbrella.

Williams and Watson have come together to form Supreme Excel, a 7-on-7 all-star team with players from both organizations.

“Essentially, we really want to give young people an opportunity to showcase their ability on a national level,” says Williams. “A lot of times the narratives around the Northeast has been ‘Terrible talent…Not really a hotbed.’

“We want to eliminate a lot of those thoughts and re-position and rebrand the ability up here. Giving these young people an opportunity to calibrate and sharpen each other’s skillset while going out there to introduce themselves to the world and show them what we’re about up here.”

Watson adds that exposure and future opportunities are key components.

“The mission is basically providing opportunities for youth in the New England area to get out and get some exposure, just trying to help kids get to college,” he says. “That’s the main goal of anything we’re attached to, exposure and trying to get kids to college. Understanding that you want to utilize sports for the bigger picture.”

About a decade ago, a mutual friend brought Watson down to Connecticut to see what Williams was doing on the 7-on-7 scene and he was impressed.

“You could tell they were doing the right things to help kids; not just physically, but mentally, understanding the process,” Watson recalls.

When their paths crossed again in the last year, Watson says “it just made sense” to join forces.

“It’s basically just seeing somebody doing the same thing you’re trying to get done in your area,” he says. “‘Listen, we’ve got like-minded goals. We’re trying to get the same thing done.’

“The borders on cities and states don’t mean anything. Those are man-made. At the end of the day, we’re trying to help kids. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Mass., Connecticut, Rhode Island. You could be from the West Coast, if you want help, we can help you.”

The two programs are based less than a half-hour apart.

“They’ve got some dogs out here too,” says Williams. “It made the most sense for us to combine the dogs together and make them sharpen each other. Once we did that, it was an easy situation for us.”

The Supreme Excel roster includes multiple prospects with high-level Division-I offers, including 2021 Connecticut defensive end Kechaun Bennett‍, who has an offer from Notre Dame along with Michigan, Penn State, Miami and Nebraska among several others. 2021 Connecticut athlete Jeffrey Davis‍ has offers from Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee and Rutgers and visited Notre Dame back in November.

2023 Massachusetts quarterback Pop Watson‍ (pictured above) has early offers from Boston College and UMass and is receiving serious interest from schools like Ohio State and West Virginia among others. When basketball season wraps up, 2022 Massachusetts wide receiver Joseph Griffin‍ is expected to join the squad. Griffin, who has an early offer from UMass, looks like the perfect example of the kind of prospect who is bound to receive legitimate national attention eventually and Supreme Excel should help accelerate that process.

2021 Connecticut DE Kechaun Bennett

“If you look at the offers we have on our roster, it’s comparable to those kids in Texas, Florida and New Jersey,” says Williams. “We have the best schools in the country too. We just want to show them why we exist and why we matter.”

Supreme Excel was scheduled to compete in a Pylon tournament later this month in Indianapolis and to be in Virginia for another one in April. Obviously, those plans could change now.

While those events would surely help the players get that exposure, weekly practices are already helping them get better now.

“While I do think there are elite players in the New England area, one of the drawbacks is that we may not have that type of competition week in and week out, where you’re lining up against other Division-I kids and competing at a high level,” says Watson. “Here, they’re looking in the mirror. They have another kid lined up in front of them who is the same type of person, so those offers mean nothing. That athletic ability means nothing.

“You’ve got to focus on detail, you have to pay attention to detail. You’re running a 4.5, he’s running a 4.5. You’re a great quarterback, he’s a great quarterback. You’re a great receiver, he’s a great DB. The competition is the biggest thing they get here and I don’t know if you can get that throughout the season on a consistent basis.”

Williams agrees that competing against other top talent from the Northeast gives the kids the chance to see where they really stack up.

“A lot of times these guys in Connecticut or Mass., think they’re the best, but it’s within that specific geographic location,” he says. “When we combine, it’s ‘Oh, wait a minute. OK, I see there are levels to this thing.’”

Additionally, Williams says it gives them the opportunity to build relationships amongst each other.

“Now they get to meet new kids from different places who share similar stories, especially the narratives about not being a dog because you’re up here. Now they’re just hungry together and really want to eat and take over the world together. That just gives them a better perspective for what exists out here.”

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