By Phil Anastasia
Rodney Williams says purple still is his favorite color.
For one more year, anyway.
But Williams, a Cherry Hill West rising senior, knows he'll soon be wearing orange after committing Friday to attend Syracuse University on a football scholarship.
"The academics are great, the campus is awesome and I just knew it was the place for me," Williams said of Syracuse.
Williams also had an offer from Temple.
He visited Syracause on Thursday, attended a camp run by the Syracuse coaches and also touted the campus.
He said Syracuse offered him before the camp was over and it was "quick and easy decision."
Syracuse, which along with former Big East rival Pitt is joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, projects Williams as a safety.
"The coaches say they can see me making money at safety," said the 6-0, 180-pound Williams, referring to the possibility of playing professional football.
Williams had attended camps at Rutgers and Pitt and said he was told by coaches at both schools that he was a "scholarship player" but neither school made an offer.
"I didn't want to go to a school for the next four or five years where I was a second or third option," Williams said.
Cherry Hill West coach Brian Wright said Williams worked to achieve his dream of earning a Division I scholarship.
"It's a testament to his hard work and resolve," Wright said. "I have been around some great athletes as a player and coach and I have never seen an athlete with the focus that Rodney has.
"I'm very proud and excited for him. This opportunity is well deserved."
Williams, who also is a basketball standout at Cherry Hill West with more than 1,000 career points, said he plans to major in business.
Williams has played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back and returned kicks for Cherry Hill West.
He said he is excited about his senior year, that's why he has changed his favorite color.
"It's still purple," Williams said.
Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.