Erik Williams, a 6-7, 210-pound forward from Marquette, is transferring to Sam Houston State University and will have two years of eligibility to play men's basketball for Bearkat head coach Jason Hooten.

Williams was a first team all-state and all-region selection as a senior at Cypress Springs High School, earning Houston Area Boys Basketball Coaches Association "Player of the Year" honors in 2009.

"This is a tremendous pick-up for our program," Hooten said. "Erik is a big-time talent and a sensational person."

Williams, who will red-shirt during the coming 2011-12 basketball season, played in 43 games, starting 11 times during his two seasons at Marquette. He helped lead last year's Marquette squad to a 22-15 record and the team's first  NCAA Sweet 16 appearance since 2003.

"We feel like, in another year, Erik will be a great contributor to our program and make the same type of impact that Gilberto Clavell made in the Southland Conference," Hooten said. "Erik brings a lot to the table and has a skill set that will continue to get better with hard work and time."

Williams made his first collegiate start in Marquette's season opener against Prairie View A&M Nov. 12 and scored a career-high 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting. He made first career Big East start in an overtime win at Connecticut (Feb. 24).

"Erik was looking for an opportunity to show what he can do on a long term basis and we were looking for a guy that we felt could be a difference maker," Hooten said. "Both parties are extremely happy with what they found!  I can't wait to start coaching Erik and helping him reach his goals both on and off the floor."

Williams set career records at Cypress Springs with 771 rebounds and 375 blocked shots in his three seasons under head coach John Harmatuk. His 1,420 career points are the third highest total at the high school.

He was District 15-5A "Newcomer of the Year" as a sophomore and "Most Valuable Player" as a senior in 2009. He averaged 24.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 6.1 blocks per game. Williams attended Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in 2005-06.