In an effort to bolster the defensive line, Tom Herman has dipped into the state of Louisiana and secured a commitment from Michael Williams. The Baton Rouge native popped up on the recruiting radar for Texas following the early signing period as the staff turned over every rock looking for potential fits. Subsequently the Longhorns extended an offer on January 17th just before Williams made his way to Austin for his official visit. Following his official visit to Texas on January 19th, Williams ultimately chose to continue his football career on the 40 acres. Williams chose the Longhorns over offers from LSU and Tennessee.
Standing at 6’2 240 pounds, Williams is classified as an athlete. In high school, he saw the majority of his snaps at Quarterback, where he led his team to a 7-2 record and a playoff berth as a senior. Despite his experience on offense, Williams projects to play on the defensive line at the next level. His athleticism and physical stature makes him a good fit at defensive end. One thing is clear about the talented prospect from the moment you turn on his tape, he loves contact. Much of Williams highlights consist of him bulldozing over defenses on QB runs and seeking out contact from tacklers. The physicality carries over to the defensive side of the ball, where he shows a willingness to hit and plays with a great motor.
Experience may be the biggest knock on Williams as he begins his collegiate career. Since playing Quarterback was his primarily role in high school, Williams is still kind of raw at defensive end. He will need a redshirt year to clean up his pass rush skills and add some muscle to endure playing in the trenches.
There is not much to dislike about Williams’ game. His ability to play QB in high school at 240 should tell you all you need to know about how gifted of an athlete he is. When he first arrived at Texas, Tom Herman stated that his defensive lineman needed to be more than just space eaters and big guys, he wanted guys who could move and cause chaos in opposing backfields. Williams fits that description perfectly.
One player comparison that makes sense when looking at Williams’ film is fellow Louisiana native, Malcolm Roach. Roach was a little more polished and college ready when he enrolled at Texas, but both display similar skill sets and possess similar athletic traits.
The coaching staff put in a lot of time and focus on defensive line recruiting following the early signing period, and it is beginning to bear fruit. The addition of Williams is a good example of the staff discovering someone they thought was slightly under the radar, and going after him hard. The final pieces of the 2018 recruiting class are starting to fall into place, with the defensive line getting a much needed addition.
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