Clemson hit a 'Home Run' With E.J. Williams
The Clemson football program recorded a major win on the recruiting trail in 2018 when they signed Justyn Ross out of Central High School in Phoenix City, Ala., which is Crimson Tide territory.
It appears that the Tigers have once again stolen top-notch talent out of Alabama coach Nick Saban's backyard as Clemson picked up E.J. Williams from the same high school as Ross. He committed to Clemson on Aug. 24 of last year and put ink to paper on Dec. 18, 2019.
Williams is a four-star athlete who measures at 6-foot-4, 191 pounds, and will provide Lawrence yet another tall and lean target with a basketball background to air it out with downfield.
His final two years of high school, the first-team all-region honoree hauled in a combined 84 passes for 1,407 yards and 19 touchdowns. As a senior, he posted 44 catches for 739 yards and 11 touchdowns.
With Frank Ladson and Joseph Ngata still held out of team activities due to safety protocols, it has allowed time for Clemson to work down the depth chart and get a look at the younger players in the opening days of camp.
"I really think we hit a home run with E.J. and he's very similar to Justyn Ross," Elliott said. "This has been good for him to just continue to grind away on the playbook and understand not just what we're doing, but also why we're doing it."
Elliott added that collectively likes what he's seen from freshmen Brannon Spector and Ajou Ajou.
"I'm really, really pleased with the athleticism and the ability of these guys," the Clemson offensive coordinator said. "Now, we just have to get them through these hard days of the camp where they continue to be stressed mentally and physically and polish them up as we get closer to the start of the season."
Despite being without his top two targets from last season, quarterback Trevor Lawrence feels good about the cohesion with his wide receiver unit to his point.
"I was able to throw a good bit with Joe and Frank over the summer," Lawrence said on Friday. "Once we all came back and were all on campus for those voluntary workouts in June. We started throwing a little bit and got our timing and I felt like we were in a good spot. I know they aren't out here yet, but we got a lot of good work this summer at least and I felt that we left on a good note."
Lawrence went on to say the younger guys like E.J. Williams are stepping up and making the most of the extra reps through the opening days of camp.
"He's looked good. With (Ladson and Ngata) being out right now, E.J. has taken more reps and you can tell he's getting into really good shape," Lawrence said. "He is getting better and learning. He's a great football player and overall talent but he's just working on the little things right now and getting on the same page."
There is no timeline on when Ladson and Ngata will resume normal team activities and begin fall camp.