John Williams signed Clemson his letter of intent today. Williams will continue Clemson’s pipeline of players from the peach state once he arrives from Canton, Georgia (Creekview). The 3-star OT measures at 6’5’’ 270lb and is rated as the #30 OT in the 2020 class and #374 player overall per the 247Sports Composite®.
Robbie Caldwell identified Williams in the early stages of recruiting for the 2020 class following a hands on evaluation and the Dabo Swinney Camp. Caldwell then offered him in August 2018 and accepted his verbal commitment in September 2018. This early evaluation and offer was a noted departure from Caldwell’s typical wait and see recruiting approach and kickstarted this all-time class of Clemson offensive line commitments. Williams chose the Tigers over early offers from Tennessee, Memphis and UNC.
Williams is the lesser discussed offensive tackle commit in this class but has the size, foot speed, and frame to become a valuable member of the team in the coming years. He doesn’t appear to possess much bad weight but will need to add strength in his upper body before being college ready. He played right tackle for his high school during his junior season and seemed to be most comfortable in run blocking situations. He engages defenders and finishes his blocks to the ground. His feet are quick enough to hold the edge during pass blocks and to reach the second level for downfield run blocking. His toughness should also be noted. Williams played through his entire Junior year with a torn labrum before having surgery this past winter and returning in time to player during his senior year.
Williams will be a June enrollee and will need time to mesh with his fellow offensive lineman before becoming a significant contributor. Let’s hope he’s a quick learner, because the Tigers will need all the help they can get at tackle next year. Williams projects as a future starter and potential freshman contributor due to depth concerns.
Take a look at Williams’ Hudl film below and share your thoughts in the comments
Williams was an early take coming off of the particularly rough 2018 offensive line recruiting (apart from landing Putnam!). He sits right between 3 and 4 star status. Projects as a RT and Clemson really needs him to stick at Tackle for depth purposes now and into the future. He and Parks are not midyear early enrollees, which is unfortunate. Without that early time to develop, Williams looks poised to take a redshirt year to further develop and add more strength while getting into the 290-300 range. His frame should handle it well. Strength gains are going to be key.
Right now Williams shows some decent footwork and foot speed in pass protection. His technique is decent at his level. Unfortunately, John won’t play in any big all-star games to see him against better competition. Williams is certainly a developmental prospect and there were others who Clemson could’ve waited on and very likely grabbed (Tate Ratledge or Pyne, for example), but John remains a solid overall prospect with the chance to develop into a starter after a couple years in the system.