With Javian Hawkins opting to pursue a career in the NFL, the Louisville backfield is up for grabs. Veteran Hassan Hall and Jalen Mitchell are the leading candidates to be at the top of the depth chart. Maurice Burkley and freshman Trevion Cooley, however, are both primed to make some noise in the running back room as well. Regardless, the Cardinals are looking to add another stud to the group in the 2022 recruiting cycle; one prospect that has been feeling the love from the coaching staff is Justin Williams.
The Four-Star Dallas, GA native is ranked as the 25th-best running back in the 2022 class (Rivals.com) and holds offers from Nebraska, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Michigan State, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and others. As a junior for East Paulding High School, Williams rushed for 1,477 yards and had 286 receiving yards while scoring 19 total touchdowns.
Louisville offered Williams back on November 11th, 2020 and have been in constant contact with him since. “It was awesome getting offered by Louisville,” he explained. “Before they offered me, they told me that they liked my vision, speed, and ability to break tackles.”
Due to COVID, Williams has not been able to physically visit Louisville’s campus, but the virtual tours have been helpful and the consistent communication has helped the Cardinals in his recruitment.
“My relationship with the staff is pretty good. I talk to Coach (De’Rail) Sims seven days a week,” Williams said. “The coaching staff is genuine, and I love the facility and campus that I have seen from the virtual tour. Everything is mutual right now, but I will say I have a real relationship with the Louisville coaching staff, so that is really good.”
On top of the lack of visits, Williams claims that the restrictions that the pandemic has placed on the athletic world has given him more time to perfect his craft. It is unclear when on-campus visits will be allowed, but regardless, Williams is in no hurry. The 6-foot, 200-lb running back plans to cut his list to 12 on May 31st. Whether or not the Cardinals will be included on the list, is to be determined. However, the Cardinal coaching staff has made it known to Williams that he is a priority and that holds a ton of weight in his eyes.