Hickory Ridge High School
A standout corner in his redshirt freshman season, Garrett Williams has scheme-versatile potential. He should be a solid backup as he develops thanks to his movement skills and ability in soft press.
To stand out as a redshirt freshman in a defensive backfield full of future NFL draft picks is no easy feat. Nevertheless, Garrett Williams was outstanding in his first year on the field at Syracuse. The talented corner’s quick feet, fluid change of direction, clean deceleration and twitchy movement skills are immediately apparent on film. These traits translate to sudden transitions with very little wasted movement. Williams uses his movement skills to his advantage in coverage. The young defensive back consistently mirrors in soft press and off coverage. He also has the speed and burst to cover breaking routes and speed-based patterns. What’s more, Williams plays with a controlled physicality at the line of scrimmage and the top of the route stem. In other words, he engages enough to impact the route while remaining safe against route salesmanship. The Syracuse standout also practices sound eye discipline in man coverage. In zone coverage, Williams reads and reacts to the quarterback with effortless fluidity. He plays with sufficient spatial awareness and has the burst to click and close. When Williams takes false steps or flips his hips early, he has the loose hips and burst to recover. Similarly, he typically takes impressive angles to the catch point. At the catch point, Williams is physical and has the hand-eye coordination to play the ball. He consistently times his breaks well. After the catch and against the run, Williams is an excellent and efficient tackler. He repeatedly works through or around blocks and finishes at the tackle point. Moreover, he maintains contain and plays the ballcarrier’s outside leg. Although the redshirt freshman had an excellent year with The Orange, his inexperience was evident at times. First and foremost, Williams fails to consistently use his hands in coverage. The talented corner excels when he keeps his hand in the receiver’s hip pocket; however, he employs this technique infrequently. What’s more, Williams plays with inconsistent hip discipline. Crafty route runners force the young corner to flip his hips early and surrender a blind spot. Indeed, the Syracuse star can bite on route salesmanship. Conversely, Williams can be forced to hesitate by nuanced receivers and turn his hips late. Similarly, he often relies too heavily on his movement skills to compensate for improper footwork; this tendency also leads to his flipping his hips late. Furthermore, Williams regularly gives up inside leverage. In doing so, he forces himself to play recovery. In addition to his persistent hip discipline concerns, Williams struggles against large, physical receivers. This style of pass-catcher routinely lands hands on the slender corner’s frame and can separate with push-offs. He is also occasionally boxed out at the catch point. Finally, Williams is a work in progress in zone coverage. He often locks his eyes in the backfield and gives up depth. Although he struggled at times during his first season competing at the college level, Garrett Williams had an excellent year. The talented corner has scheme-versatile potential but should be a solid backup immediately thanks to his ability in soft press.
Born June 1st, 2001 in Charlotte, North Carolina, to parents George and Daphne Williams, Garrett Alexander Williams has a sister and is currently enrolled in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. The talented cornerback had a strong career at Hickory Ridge High School. Williams was a 2018 Southwestern 4A All-Conference choice and a PrepStar All-Atlantic Team selection. Further, the North Carolina native was voted to the 2017 Charlotte Observer All-Region Team. He also was selected to the 2017 Independent Tribune Football “Dream Team.” Williams was a team captain and a sprinter for the Hickory Ridge track team. After his illustrious high school career, the star defensive back was listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports Composite. The same outlet named Williams the 1766th-best recruit in the nation, the 171st-ranked cornerback recruit in the country and the 75th recruit in the state of North Carolina. After a hot start to his career, the star cornerback has earned praise both from within the Syracuse football team and from the media. Orange head coach Dino Babers referred to Williams as a “studmuffin.” Ifeatu Melifonwu and Andre Cisco (both 2021 NFL Draft picks) have praised the star redshirt freshman for his work ethic. Williams was named a Freshman All-American by The Athletic in 2020. He was also awarded Honorable Mention All-ACC in 2020.