Prospect: DB James Williams
Projected Position: Safety
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 225 pounds
School: Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage
Committed to: Miami
Frame: Towering, muscular athlete with great length. Can carry substantially more weight, which could push Williams towards a pass rushing future although he is actively working to maintain current size.
Athleticism: Lacks elite secondary speed but instincts and range compensate, as displayed while on offense on occasion as a junior. Strong short-area burst with sustainable long speed. Displays great range in space and start/stop ability in traffic.
Instincts: Natural playmaker has a nose for the football with a balance of coverage and run support traits. Excellent center fielder with the football in the air thanks to great quickness and change of direction relative to frame. Occasional striker attacks the football on a consistent basis, often leading to turnovers produced.
Polish: Possesses positioning and vertical ability to contend with wide receivers and tight ends alike in 50-50 ball scenarios. Tracks the football extremely well for a player of his build. Intricacies of coverage, from stance to backpedaling on a lower plane, could stand to improve. Effective front seven player on occasion, but overall raw beyond the safety spot.
Bottom Line: While a productive physical specimen in the secondary, Williams’ projection is all but positionless in nature, speaking to the value of the athlete. It’s not a stretch to envision Williams patrolling multiple spots in the secondary, lining up as an occasional linebacker or even as a situational pass rusher for a big time program as he matures. The dynamic talent, who has a college-ready build right now, will boost a defense in more ways than one.