Christian Williams, offensive tackle
School: Fort Bend Marshall (Texas)
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 319 pounds
SI All-American Ranking: N/A
Williams will forever go down in history as the first player to commit to the Florida Gators in the Billy Napier era, something that was seen as one of the first dominos to fall as Napier and his staff worked to put together its recruiting board after the previous coaching staff was let go.
Though not a widely-recruited prospect, Williams was one of the players that were keyed in on while Napier was at Louisianna with co-offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton. He and Stapleton worked to bring in the three-star prospect, eventually earning a commitment from Williams to attend UL.
Following Napier's departure from UL, and Stapleton following him to Florida, Williams subsequently decommitted from UL, ultimately earning the opportunity to take a leap up in competition to the Power 5 with Napier and his staff at Florida.
That made Williams the first commit and first flip of the Napier era.
“I love the way Coach Napier and his staff makes you feel at home,” Williams said when asked about what makes the coaching staff that was, at the time, headed to Florida so special via 247Sports in Dec. 2021
“When I went to UL for my camp in the summer the same people who made me feel so comfortable are the same ones going to Florida with Napier so it’s kinda adding on more and more positives to my move.
"And as far as Coach Napier’s success, you can see he’s focused on winning he has that mentality, that thought process, that ‘it’ factor. I can’t wait to start under such a coach with the platform that we have.”
Williams wasn't a highly-touted recruit, coming in as a three-star prospect, the No. 101 ranked OL and the No. 1214 player nationally, according to On3 Consensus, but when taking a look at his film and the pedigree he showed at right guard during his prep career, it's easy to see why he was recruited and landed by Napier and his staff.
Where Williams Fits
Willimas joined three other offensive line commits for the 2022 recruiting class at Florida, including Jalen Farmer, David Conner and JUCO transfer Jordan Herman. The team also added a couple of other transfers in O'Cyrus Torrence and Kamryn Waites in order to fill out the room, and create depth at the position.
A big-man offensive lineman, Williams has the ability to play at multiple spots on the interior of the Florida OL, but primarily saw his time at the right guard position in high school. That likely is the spot he will begin his Florida career at as he gets acclimated to the collegiate level of football.
For Florida, the program has lacked depth on its OL for quite some time now.
While the program has seen multiple players leave for the NFL or otherwise, it had a hard time bringing in blue-chip players during the Dan Mullen era, typically bringing in only a couple of OL per cycle, ruining the chance the program had at creating good, quality depth.
With Florida moving to more of a run-first offense under Napier, Williams can certainly make an impact in the coming years. His mauling style fits perfectly with what Florida coaches, OL coach Rob Sale and Stapleton want to showcase from their OL unit.
When speaking with Gatorcountry.com writer Ethan Hughes, Williams gave a bit of insight into what he believes he brings to the table at the position.
"I feel like me just fitting into that will be very well because I’m an inside O-Lineman," Williams told Hughes. "So, me being able to just sit in the middle and move everybody in front of me, along with my counterparts who’s going to be on the line with me, I feel like I can be pretty good at it.
“I feel like I can be pretty low to the ground, being able to use my leverage against the other team. That’s another reason why I feel like I’m so good at moving people or just objects out of the way.”
It might take a bit for Williams to truly make an impact at this level of football, but it's clear the talent is there, and his fit within Florida's offense is ideal.
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