Miami football 2021 Class: 5-Star safety James Williams bring versatility

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Five-star athlete James Williams will provide the Miami football program with one of the most elite and diverse players the Hurricanes have signed on defense.

The Miami football program signed two five-star players in the Class of 2021 for the first time since 2008 with defensive tackle Leonard Taylor and safety James Williams. Williams could play safety, linebacker, or striker for Miami. The Hurricanes greatest need on defense entering the 2021 season will be at linebacker.

Williams is 6’5, 218 pounds and the 13th ranked player, top-ranked safety and fourth-ranked player in Florida in the Class of 2021. Miami has two safeties signed in the 2021 class with the Hurricanes also receiving a National Letter of Intent from four-star signee Kamren Kinchens from Miami Northwestern.

All 2020 fall sports athletes received an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. The top three Miami safeties, senior Amari Carter and juniors Bubba Bolden and Gurvan Hall could all return for Miami in 2021. Williams will be the most talented player Miami will have on the back seven on defense.

After the step back Miami defense took in 2020 getting the best players on the field in 2021 will be critical. Williams and Taylor will be the most talented players Miami have on its roster next season. If the Hurricanes can get a spring practice in the freshmen will have a chance to push the returnees on the depth chart.

In addition to the safeties, Williams will likely compete with strikers, junior Gilbert Frierson and sophomore Keontra Smith and multiple linebackers depending on where the Miami defensive staff best finds a fit for Williams. Williams is projected as an eventual first-round NFL Draft pick who is a unique prospect.

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The size and skill set Williams brings have been compared to Arizona Cardinals rookie Isaiah Simmons. Miami needs Williams to live up to scouting reports praising him. If Williams can come in and impact the Miami defense as a freshman the Hurricanes defense can return to how well they played in 2019.