The Texas recruiting streak continued Monday afternoon thanks to the commitment of New Iberia (La.) Westgate’s. Derek Williams, an industry-developed five-star 247Sports Composite prospect in the 2023 class. Williams is one of the top 40 prospects in the Composite and is ranked in the top three in safety nationally in both the Composite and Top247.
Williams represents the type of seven-back quarterback that should thrive in the modern game. At 6ft 2in and 185lbs, Williams exhibits an impressive physical presence that matches the stance in which he can easily transform into a hybrid defender/linebacker, or perhaps even a full-fledged modern linebacker without the ball. .
Williams’ game violence increased markedly in the fall of 2021, when he showed amazing descent sprinting and corresponding perimeter pursuit range. Williams’ height and length allows him to not only frustrate pass catchers on the line of scrimmage when asked to come up, but also crowd into catch windows.
In addition, Williams owns a valuable three-stage participation in attack and return play. Due to the lack of validated data and multi-sport context, this diverse field experience adds important context regarding long-term prognosis and what we have seen in recent NFL Drafts.
Williams entering the field very early as a cover option is not surprising at all. Williams’ tackle power and hitting consistency have jumped in 2021 and should continue to rise as he adds mass to his large body. Here’s more on what Texas gets in an elite defensive showdown with South Louisiana.
Chris Singletary, 247Sports National Analyst:”The Longhorns infiltrated Louisiana and took one of the best in the state. Williams is a talent that brings versatility and athleticism to the Horn. He has the ability to make a difference, whether he plays in defence, in the half or in the box. You get a sample of his prowess over the past two seasons as he played in multiple offensive and defensive positions. In the long run, he could be a catalyst to help shape the defense in a vision that Pete Kwiatkowski has for it.”
Cooper Petagna, 247, national sports analyst:”It’s always hard to go to Louisiana and find a player like Williams, especially if you’re from a school that doesn’t have Bam’s name. Love the physical form in the running game. An Enforcer type player who I think will be better served playing closer to the line of scrimmage and should see how he performs in extra packs.”
247SPORTS SCOUT REPORT
Seems to have the potential to grow to add extra weight to his body. Depending on the position, he could add 15 to 20 pounds to his body at the next level. Demonstrates good athletic ability in all three phases of the game, showing positional versatility allowing multiple positions to be played on the defensive side of the ball (deep hash, slot guard, weak side halfback).
Demonstrates good playing speed and the ability to read and react in a safe position. Plays downhill and with little loss of movement. Can run and chase, demonstrating the ability to play in space and from touchline to touchline. A speed and space type player who would seem to have a smooth transition to a standard role if he continues to develop physically.
Flashes with some ability to drain and reset at the point of attack, not without physical presence in his playstyle. A knockback player who plays with some brutality will stab you. Has the ability to line up over the slot and match larger receivers and tight ends in a passing game.
Depending on the potential for growth, one could see an approach to the line of scrimmage and possibly into the box. Multi-dimensional run and take cover with a strong defender or midfielder.
Covers most of the area in defense and will add immediate value to special teams. Projects as a multi-year high-level starter in the Power Five program at the next level could potentially become an all-conference linebacker under the right scheme. — Cooper Petagna, 247, national sports analyst