What Miyan Williams' Commitment Means for Ohio State’s 2020 Recruiting Class

By Zack Carpenter on November 23, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Miyan Williams
Miyan Williams

After seemingly endless amounts of worry and stress among Ohio State fans for the Buckeyes' inability to land a 2020 running back, Tony Alford has his man.

Three-star RB Miyan Williams, out of Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, announced a flip from Iowa State to Ohio State on Saturday evening, while on an unofficial visit just hours after the Buckeyes' huge 28-17 win over Penn State.

Rumors had swirled for months of a Williams flip, and those began to pick up even further when Williams confirmed he would be visiting for the Penn State game.

Williams had been to Ohio State's campus previously, but this visit gave Williams a better opportunity to evaluate the environment. 

"That's a big school and everybody knows about them, and they have a good football program too," Williams told Eleven Warriors on Oct. 27. "So there's a lot you can take in from that.

"I just want to see how it is because when I've been up there before, I didn't really pay attention to a lot of things. So I just want to go up there, pay attention and focus on more things up there."

Now, his sole focus college-wise will be on a future in Columbus as he is one of the final pieces to the 2020 class puzzle.

Let's take a look at how Williams will impact that class:

On the field

Ohio State fans should be happy to finally have a running back in the 2020 class, but if you're not overly joyed about bringing in Williams, it's understandable because of who the Buckeyes almost had.

Bijan Robinson and Jaylan Knighton had each been silently committed to Ohio State in the summer, but Robinson backed out in favor of Texas and Knighton did the same in favor of Florida State. After having arguably the best running back in the class (Robinson) and another top-10 back (Knighton) suddenly scrapped from the table, Williams may feel like a bronze medal of sorts.

Williams is a physical, bruising, aggressive runner capable of putting a beating on opposing defensive players, making him a huge asset in short-yardage and goal-line situations. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not the 5-foot-10, 210-pound brute of a back will be able to become the type of versatile running back that fits Ryan Day's offense. He's a different type of runner than most of the backs currently in Alford's room.

Williams is a step slower than most college running backs (4.74 in the 40), so the question of whether or not he will be shifty enough or have enough lateral quickness to make an impact is a fair one.

To reiterate what we said in the Williams commitment piece, he's a running back similar to Carlos Hyde in that he can smash people when blocking and hit holes hard between the tackles for tough-nosed yards. He likely won't be a home-run threat, though.

In the class

Williams' flip assures Alford that he won't be shut out in running back recruitment. Williams can provide depth in Alford's running backs room, and from what many have said about Williams, he's coachable, hard-working and won't be opposed to doing the dirty work on the field.

Williams doesn't project to be a feature back, but he could be the perfect complement to a guy like Jahmyr Gibbs

Gibbs, who visited for Ohio State's win over Maryland on Nov. 9, is the polar opposite of Williams in terms of physicality and in running style. While Gibbs has star potential and the wow-inducing elusiveness, versatility and pass-catching skills, Williams brings consistency, strength and a high floor. 

Those two would feed off each other, so getting Gibbs in this class would make Ohio State's 2020 running back recruiting go from shaky and unstable to solidified and sturdy. However, given Williams' commitment, Gibbs desire to remain closer to home could keep him from becoming a Buckeye.

Off the field

In talking with high school coaches and players in the Cincinnati area, Williams has a good head on his shoulders, and he's a hard worker. 

He would've been a good fit in Massillon native Matt Campbell's Iowa State program, but his off-field character will also fit in with Day, Alford and Ohio State. 

He's not an All-Star by name, but he has the makings of becoming a well-respected and solid running back.

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