Kentucky is still working on put the finishing touches of the 2020 class together before next Wednesday hits, but in the mean time they are getting started on the class of 2021. The last couple of weeks we’ve seen Mark Stoops and his staff host a ton of high schoolers and this week they finally land their first player in next year’s recruiting haul.
Devon Williams hails from the same high school in the Columbus, Ohio area that produced Gunnar Hoak and hopefully class of 2020 member Michael Drennen II. Williams is a rangy inside linebacker prospect who could potentially play either Mike or Will in UK’s 3-4 scheme. Jon Sumrall’s room needs some numbers quickly and Williams hopes to be the first of many good players in the 2021 haul.
It’s now time to take you into the KSR Film Room to show you just what kind of player Brad White’s defense is getting in Devon Williams. If you like linebackers that can really run and shoot gaps, this prospect is one you’re going to want to check out.
Despite being used on the edge by Dublin Coffman in his high school career, there is no denying that inside linebacker will be the best position for Devon Williams at the next level. However, he shows some really good traits from that outside linebacker position and the most glaring one is his speed.
On this play, Williams shows off some instincts by quickly seeing and hitting the ball. The unblocked man zooms by the running back after play-action fake and swallows up the quarterback for a havoc play before the offense can really even get into their action. He finishes with a nice shoulder drop and wrap when he arrives to put the cherry on top. At inside linebacker, you have to recognize and attack and Williams shows that ability on this play even though he is at a different position.
At the college level, you have to have some terrific tackling ability. You are often forced to play in a short amount of space and must meet someone trying to run through you quite frequently. As a linebacker, you better have some good tackling technique to go along with some finishing ability. Check that box for Devon Williams.
Physicality is a must have quality at the next level and in your run fits, front seven players are required to hold off blockers and to to disengage to make tackles. At linebacker, Devon Williams will be able to run freely more often but you still must have the strength and punch to fight off bigger players. He shows that in run support.
This is just a really nice way to start the 2021 class. Devon Williams is an excellent prospect who is currently ranked as a high three-star with offers from Michigan State, Arkansas, Iowa State, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Indiana and Rutgers. Vince Marrow was able to get the intriguing prospect to pull the trigger on an early commitment and there is a lot to be excited about.
Williams is a twitchy defensive player with an excellent punch that allows him to disengage and find the football. Once he recognizes the play, he has great closing speed to go with some nice finishing ability. On his tape, he is constantly making havoc plays and causing disruption to opposing offenses. There is a lot to like.
At the next level, he will make the move to inside linebacker but similar to both Jamin Davis and Chris Oats he could play both spots. He has the speed, quickness, and slipperiness to excel at Will while it’s easy to see him filling out his frame to get to over 230 pounds to play snaps at Mike. He has a very high ceiling when it comes to pass coverage and his instincts should pay off big time when called to pass rush or stunt.
Kentucky is off to a very good start to what will be a spring and summer full of recruiting, but now it is time to finish up the 2020 class.