Defensive end is always a big position at Clemson. Guys like Shaq Lawson and Vic Beasley have made their mark at Clemson, Jordan Williams hopes to be the next after signing his LOI today. Williams will come to Clemson from Virginia Beach, VA to play college football. He was primarily recruited by Brent Venables and Williams chose Clemson over Tennessee. You’ll notice this as a common theme this today.
Williams measures in at 6’4” and weighs 260lbs. He’s considered a weakside DE but has the potential to play either position and is considered a 4 star prospect by the 247 Composite. His size and strength make him a real candidate to compete for time immediately. His ability to play early also makes it easier to move Christian Wilkins back inside to keep up numbers at DT.
He also fills a critical need because it seems unlikely Clemson will be able to replace the losses at DT in the 2018 class and get some DE bodies. Right now Williams seems like a guy who will be here all 4 years as well which will help in the struggle for Clemson to balance out their scholarship numbers.
I like Jordan Williams a lot, but I think he will need time to develop at the college football level. He is physically ready and looks like prototypical Clemson defensive ends these days. He has size (he is huge) and length. He won’t need a ton of time in the weight room re-working his body, he won’t need to add much additional weight.
But he needs some technique work. At the high school level he was able to dominate the competition by being the best athlete, but he will need to refine his pass rushing skills and work on things like his hand usage and pad level. He often stood up in high school and just rushed the passer. He struggled with some of these things in camps and in one-on-ones. That isn’t to say that he doesn’t have a ton of potential, I just think he will need a bit of time fully realize that potential. He has athleticism at his size and the length to be a dominant defender. One of the defensive ends will end up playing this year, I’m not sure you have the luxury of redshirting Williams. He will be a good test for new defensive line Coach Bates.