Georgia EDGE defender Mykel Williams has been named the Maxwell Football National High School Defensive Player of the Year.
Williams dominated for Hardaway High school in Columbus, Georgia. He spent time playing tight end, offensive line, and of course defensive line throughout the year. He played all over the field this season, and he dominated all year.
Including his time spent at the Adidas All-American Game in San Antonio.
He's a product of pass-rush specialist Chuck Smith in Atlanta, Georgia and it's evident that Williams has not only retained the information and knowledge, he knows how to convey it. Williams would flip roles from star pass-rush specialist to pass-rush coaching guru in between reps at the All-American event. Retaining information is important in football, being able to relay that information is the difference between really good and elite.
We have already discussed how the standard has shifted in terms of defensive linemen. No longer is it enough to be big in today's game, players have to be filled with twitch, bend, power, and explosiveness to be elite on the college level.
At 6-foot-5, Williams bends with the best of them. He has extremely loose hips and plays with excellent pad level. His fluidity in the open field when pursuing ball-carriers is unmatched in the state of Georgia considering his size and position.
Watching defensive line guru Chuck Smith work with these young prospects up close and personal, it's easy to see that all of his young pupils are technicians at the position. Smith does a great job teaching hand-fighting techniques as well as ensuring that the footwork follows in order to make them elite pass rushers.
Names like Von Miller, Aaron Donald, Stephon Tuitt, and Azeez Ojulari have all trained under Smith during his time. He's commonly referred to as "Dr. Rush." Simply put, any player that's spent as much time as Williams has with a trainer the caliber of Smith will be ready to get after the passer from Day 1 in college.
Williams envisions himself as a true defensive end, although the reality is he's more of a traditional odd-front end. By the time he leaves college, he's projected to weigh around 300 pounds and coaches don't play those types of guys in traditional edge-rusher roles.
However, a school like Georgia that runs a version of an odd-front defense with a defensive end that typically plays with inside alignment on the tackle, would be the ideal scheme for a player like Williams.
He's too athletic to leave on the interior of the defensive line, and he's far too powerful and impactful in the run game to leave him out on the edge. What a school like Georgia does is ideal for Williams. He will be the next Travon Walker for this program.
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