We’ve talked repeatedly over the years in this space about Kirby Smart’s focus on shaping the narrative around recruiting. One way in which that’s often played out is that when Georgia publicly misses out on a recruit it’s common for another recruit to go public with his commitment to the Red and Black. It’s happened again.
Last night, East St. Louis five star receiver Luther Burden announced he’d be staying to play for the home state Missouri Tigers. We wish him well.
But not as well as we wish five star Columbus (Hardaway HS) defensive tackle Mykel Williams, who this morning flipped his commitment from Southern Cal to Georgia.
Williams was in Athens this past weekend for the Kentucky game, and it wasn’t his first such trip. In fact, some recruiting observers were a little surprised over the summer when he announced his plans to decamp for L.A. and become one of the men of Troy.
It seems Clay Helton’s ouster, the resulting uncertainty at USC, and the chance to join the nation’s top defense have combined to make him change course.
Williams is ranked as the #4 player in the Peach State and the #22 player nationally for the class of 2022. He’s one of those prospects who counted offers from every major college football, and for good reason. At 6’5, 265 pounds Williams has long arms and the frame to carry 285 pounds without getting soft. When I look at him I can’t help but see a high school version of Travon Walker, which should obviously be pretty exciting for UGA fans.
Williams has been phenomenally productive for Hardaway, tallying close to 30 sacks as a sophomore and junior and has added 11.5 through seven games this season. While he’s got some work to do technique-wise, his feet are deceptively quick and, combined his his size and reach, make him practically unblockable on the high school level in clear pass rush situations.
Mykel figures to grow into a 3 or 5 technique tackle, though he could also play over the center on passing downs and be a handful.
Williams joins interior lineman Tyre West, lanky end Darris Smith, and edge rusher Carlton Madden as defensive linemen in the 2022 class, which now ranks #2 behind only Alabama’s. It’s likely that the ‘Dawgs will look to add at least two more players up front to a unit that will suffer some serious attrition after the season. But in Williams Georgia has a player who should fight for meaningful snaps in 2022 and move into a prominent rule thereafter.