Louisville Football continues it’s recruiting hot streak. Today, they picked up a commitment from a legacy recruit. 2021 4 Star OLB Jaraye Williams, the son of former Louisville Men’s Basketball great Terrence Williams, committed to play for his father’s alma mater.
— Jaraye Williams (@jarayeee) May 30, 2020
The 6’3 197 lbs OLB chose the Cards over offers from USC, Arizona State, and Nebraska, among others. Louisville Co-Defensive Coordinator and Outside Linebackers Coach Cort Dennison was his primary recruiter. He is ranked the 288th best player and 19th best OLB in the class according to 247sports. Williams plays for Kennedy Catholic in Burien, WA.
Recruiting Gurus Sam Basden and Shawn Barbour both reviewed Williams highlights and gave their thoughts on Louisville’s newest blue chipper.
The son of former Louisville star and number 11th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft Terrence Williams has committed to play football at Louisville. That’s right Terrence Williams’ bright smile will be back in Louisville, this time as a parent watching his son play for his Alma Mater. It’s been over a decade since T-Will left the floor at Freedom Hall and almost just as long as he’s graced Card Nation with his charisma and gregariousness. Terrence was a 4 Star recruit out of Seattle, WA and averaged 11.2 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg, and 1.5 spg during his four years at Louisville.
One word jumps out to me when watching film on Jaraye Williams, explosive. Similar to his dad, the younger Williams is an elite level athlete with an amazing leaping ability. Williams is exceptionally quick off the edge and has great closing speed and can change directions really fluidly without losing much speed at all.
It would be hard to miss Jaraye Williams on the football field. I mean you really couldn’t if you tried. At 6’3 200 lbs, he certainly looks the part of a power 5 OLB. I project Jaraye Williams to play the outside linbacker position and specialize in being an edge rusher for Louisville because of his speed and quickness off the edge. Jaraye, like his father is a very versatile athlete so you might see the staff try him at the CARD position. Whatever position the coaching staff puts Williams at, once he gets on campus and adds some strength and muscles to his frame, he will be a problem for the opposing team’s offense.
Jaraye Williams is a physical specimen on the field. Standing 6’3 and weighing in right around 200 lbs, Williams was definitely gifted with the athleticism of his father. While he plays S and OLB for his high school, I think he will likely be most effective as an OLB. His speed, quickness, and acceleration make him a formidable pass rusher. His leaping ability and fluid movement will allow him to be dropped into coverage against slot receivers and tight ends. His eyes and IQ allow him to be very good at reading and reacting. Williams is also a very good hitter and tackler once he gets to QBs or RBs.
When watching him line up on the edge along the line of scrimmage, we see Williams get excellent jumps off the snap. This means blockers often aren’t out of the stance before he’s on them. His speed allows him to get around the edge quickly and to the QB or RB. He’s a disrupter of offenses that lives in the opponent’s backfield. I expect he will be utilized often as a pass rusher.
When Williams gets into the backfield, he’s a heavy hitter. He loves to punish with his hits. He doesn’t use his shoulder. Instead, he wraps up. Whether it’s the QB or RB, he’s bringing the thunder when he tackles. Williams knows how to break down and get his guy to the ground. His form tackling will definitely impress both coaches and fans, but his pop on his hits will make them say, “wow!”
What makes Williams truly special is his coverage ability. Williams can line up and defend slot receivers or cover TEs. His speed and fluid hips allow him to be able to be able to change direction with smaller, quicker guys and stay with them up the field. His leaping ability is as special as his father’s was. He can get up and knock down passes. He also utilizes this to tip passes at the line of scrimmage. He can truly be a Swiss Army knife defender.
Williams is very good as trusting his eyes and reading plays correctly. He exhibits great patience when the play is a rushing play. He’s particularly effective at reading the read option. His speed and quickness allow him to be patient. Once he sees where the ball is, he attacks swiftly and often gets a tackle for loss. Whether off the line of scrimmage or on it, he is excellent at reading and reacting.
Overall, what Louisville is getting in Jaraye Williams is a special athlete, but a smart football player. He possesses many of the athletic traits of his father. On the field, I imagine him becoming a possibly great pass rusher. However, his coverage skills make him a valuable guy in 3rd and medium situations guarding TEs or slot receivers. He needs to get stronger, but he is a special player. His versatility means he will see a ton of snaps as he isn’t just a specialist. It will be interesting to see if he red shirts or gets snaps as a freshman. With the 4 game rule, he will undoubtedly see the field as a freshman. Cort Dennison got Louisville a playmaking defender with All-ACC or higher potential.
With Jaraye Williams commitment, Louisville now has 11 commits. The Cards 2021 class is currently ranked 27th nationally and 7th in the ACC according to 247sports. Williams is currently the highest rated recruit in UofL’s class.