Tyleik Williams' initial commitment caught everyone off guard, even his fellow 2021 commits.
Typically, the prospects are some of the first to know about a fellow players' commitment, usually long before anyone else. That was not the case for Williams as the nation's No. 9 defensive tackle and No. 122 overall player caught everyone off guard when he committed to Ohio State.
The Williams File
- Class: 2021
- Size: 6-foot-3/330 lbs.
- Pos: DT
- School: Unity Reed (Manassas, VA)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 122 (9 DT)
“I didn’t even know he was committing to us, for real,” Buckeye running back commit TreVeyon Henderson told Eleven Warriors. “It was a shocker because somebody hit me up in the group chat and said he was committing to us, and I hadn’t heard anything about it. It was pretty much a shocker.”
But it didn't take long for the rest of Ohio State's 2021 class to welcome Williams with open arms, and on Wednesday he officially joins that group as a member of the newest crop of Buckeyes.
"When I sign it is going to be a big stress reliever knowing that all my hard work is really starting to pay off and get noticed," Williams told Eleven Warriors. "It will be a great moment for me."
His signing will be a great moment for the Buckeyes, too, as they add a player with rare size and quickness to fill a big hole at the nose tackle position.
Typically, a player doesn't reach the size and strength necessary to play at the college level until after they're in college strength programs, and that's especially true of the interior defensive line. But Williams enters Ohio State with an already-massive 6-foot-3, 330 pounds frame – rare size for a high schooler.
His size is special in itself, but it's Williams' ability to move at that size that makes him truly elite. He may be a big run-stopping defensive tackle, but he's not just a space-eater, he's explosive and can overpower and outfinesse interior linemen with ease.
“Watching his film, he’s an animal,” Ohio State quarterback commit Kyle McCord told Eleven Warriors of Williams. “He’s 6-3 and moves really well for his size."
Williams has proven he can play either the 3-technique defensive tackle position or the 1-technique nose tackle position. But with his size, Williams will likely end up at the nose, as the Buckeyes have a particular need at that position.
With almost every top defensive tackle in the 2021 class playing exclusively 3-technique, Williams is arguably the best nose tackle in the country, meaning Ohio State is filling a position of need with a kid who could very well be the best player in the country at that position.
Williams joins a star-studded defensive line class that also includes five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer, top-50 player Mike Hall on the interior, and potentially five-star defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau, who will make his college decision in February.
It's an elite group, and they'll be led by an elite position coach in Larry Johnson. That has Williams feeling excited about the future as he inks his letter of intent on Wednesday.
"It is going to be a great honor playing for Coach J," Williams said. "He’s real special when it comes to coaching. Also, he puts players in the draft and develops them well, and I believe he can do the same for me."