Finding the right fit for your college football program isn't just about what happens on the field, but off it as well. Today, Ohio State added a key piece. How will that commitment impact the Buckeyes?
Ohio State landed a commitment from one of the fastest wide receivers in the country when St. Louis Cardinal Ritter College Prep four-star Jameson Williams pledged his services to the Buckeyes Friday afternoon.
Let's take a closer look at what Williams – the No. 130 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 – brings to Columbus.
ON THE FIELD
With the football in his hands, Williams is a threat to reach the end zone at anytime. Williams is the type of player that can catch a screen pass with a defender draped on him, shed the tackle, find a hole and accelerate, quickly, downfield.
In one-on-one coverage, he's a nightmare to defend, he has soft hands with a lanky stature, he's a decent route runner, and has exceptional body control.
“Smart kid, fast of course,” Cardinal Ritter coach Brandon Gregory told 247Sports of Williams last November. “There’s a possibility he can take it to the house at any time. He’s electric. If the ball hits his hands he’s liable to score.”
The 6-foot-2, 169-pound receiver runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, posts a shuttle speed of 4.45 and has a vertical of 33.50 inches.
As a junior, Williams caught 36 passes for 1,062 yards and 15 touchdowns. Those numbers go alongside seven punt returns for 230 yards and three scores. Williams also plays defensive back for Cardinal Ritter as he posted 33 tackles and an interception.
Williams took part in Nike's The Opening football showcase in Dallas, Texas this past summer. His recruiting accelerated from there as programs had a first-hand display at just how talented the young man was.
“It was a great experience,” Williams told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “A once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
This year, he started his senior season with four catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns in an 82-0 win over Confluence. He followed that performance with a 5-catch, 157-yard, two-touchdown day in a 20-12 win over Cahokia.
Now, in six games, he's tallied 20 catches for 491 yards and seven touchdowns, scoring nine total touchdowns thanks to 60 and 25-yard punt returns. Cardinal Ritter is currently 6-0 and is averaging 40.7 points per game.
IN THE CLASS
Williams becomes the 16th member of Ohio State’s Dynasty ’19 recruiting class, and the second wide receiver, joining Garrett Wilson, a five-star wideout who hails from Austin, Texas.
The Buckeyes could potentially lose all six starting wide receivers following the 2018 season. If that happens, Williams' commitment means all that much more.
Ohio State has guaranteed departures from Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin, meaning the Buckeyes should — at the very least — take three wide receivers to replace them. If K.J. Hill (redshirt), Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor opt to leave for the National Football League next offseason, the staff will certainly stretch that number to four or five commitments instead.
The Buckeyes have offers out right now to more than 15 wide receivers, but only have a legitimate chance with or are among the favorites for prospects like Texas four-star Elijah Higgins, Indiana four-star David Bell, Kentucky four-star Milton Wright, and Missouri four-star Marcus Washington. Adding Williams was certainly a step in the right direction but expect Ohio State to further cement this recruiting class with more commits at the wideout position.
Just as you walk into Ohio State's Woody Hayes Athletic Center, you see a quote from Hayes that reads, "You win with people." It seems as if Friday afternoon, the Buckeyes got an exceptional young man.
"He's a kid that, first and foremost, is a great kid," Gregory told 247Sports in May 2017. "We try to promote that in our program, try to get kids to see that if you do right in the classroom, it carries over onto the football field and that's what Jameson is a perfect example of. He started off slow as a freshman in school, but picked it up in school and it's paying off on the football field."
Williams isn't only disciplined on the football field. He's also quite the juggernaut on the track as well. Competing for Cardinal Ritter in last year's state track meet, Williams took first place in Class 3 won both the 400-meter dash (48.68 seconds) and the 300-meter hurdles (37.47) events. He also took second in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes.
He brings the speed to Columbus as the Buckeyes add yet another key piece to their Dynasty '19 recruiting class.