Five-star athlete Miami football commit James Williams who is being listed as a linebacker by ESPN was named by the network as the 11th most impactful player in the Class of 2021.
The commitment announcement by five-star athlete James Williams to the Miami football program last week surprised college football recruiting analysts. Williams was unanimously projected to commit to Georgia by all eight crystal balls logged by 247Sports. Williams will have a big impact on the 2021 Miami recruiting class.
Williams is the highest-ranked player to commit to the Miami football program since linebacker Arthur Brown signed with the Hurricanes in 2008. With the commitment to Miami, Williams is the fourth player in the Hurricanes 2021 recruiting class to re-commit after committing and then de-committing.
Williams has previously been listed as a safety, is currently listed as an athlete who will play defense by 247Sports and is being listed as a linebacker by ESPN. Some recruiting analysts project Williams, who is listed at 6’4 220 pounds by ESPN to eventually play with a hand in the ground as an edge rusher.
Williams is listed by ESPN as the third-best outside LB in the country in the Class of 2021, the 14th best player in the Southeast and eighth-best player in Florida. The 2021 Miami recruiting class is 11th in the ESPN rankings and 10th in the 247 Sports composite rankings. Williams is ESPN’s 11th most impactful player for 2021.
— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) July 22, 2020
11. Miami Hurricanes
LB James Williams
6-foot-4, 220 pounds
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
ESPN 300 rank: 33
“Williams had been committed to Miami, but then decommitted in 2019. He released a top list of Alabama, Georgia and Clemson in February, but ultimately went back to Miami when he announced his commitment in July.
He was targeted by nearly every major program in the country and has the versatility to play safety or linebacker within the Hurricanes’ defense. Adding him back into this class was a big deal for Manny Diaz whose defense ranked 13th in yards per game and 12th in yards per play last season.
To get one of the top prospects in the state of Florida, and to keep him away from some of the top major programs in the country was a big win, and adding one of the best defenders in the class to your roster makes Williams an easy pick.”
The list was ranked only of the players currently commited for 2021. Defensive tackle Leonard Taylor from Miami Palmetto is the fifth-ranked player in the country, the second-best defensive tackle and top-ranked player in the Southeast and in Florida as ranked by ESPN. Miami is the prohibitive favorite for Taylor’s commitment.
Taylor will announce his intended college destination August 6. The chance for Miami to sign Taylor and Williams would give the Hurricanes their first pair of five-star players in the same signing class since 2008 when Brown and defensive tackle Marcus Fortson signed.