Christian Williams is the kind of player that Miami hasn’t gotten in recruiting very much recently. The 6’1” 182lb Daphe (AL) native fits the bill for a player that would normally go to Alabama, LSU, or Georgia: a big bodied DB with good athleticism and great skill. And, early on in his recruitment, that’s what Williams planned to do.
After attending a Junior Day in Tuscaloosa last February, Williams committed to Nick Saban and Alabama in April 2018. After that, Williams visited Tuscaloosa — a 4 hour drive up the road — at least 3 more times.
Things started to turn in the fall, however, when Williams only visited Alabama in September, then the Crimson Tide signed a bunch of DBs during the Early Signing Period while Williams sat back to evaluate his options. In that Williams was a soft commit and not signed already, Miami CB coach Mike Rumph checked in and started to ramp up communication and contact with the All-American defender. Even with local residents telling Rumph Miami had no shot at Williams, the coach was undeterred.
As with any prospect, but especially an out of State player such as Williams, the key in this recruitment was getting him and his family on campus in Coral Gables for an Official Visit on January 18th. That visit, and the multiple coaches visits to the Williams’ home in Alabama, convinced the talented defender that while other programs — Alabama, Texas A&M, and LSU most notably — wanted him, Miami NEEDED him. And that was enough to do the trick.
Williams announced on National Signing Day that he was signing with the Canes, and it gave Miami their highest rated defensive signee, a great addition to the rebuilding secondary, and also saw Mike Rumph win a head-to-head recruiting battle against a power program, which is something that hadn’t happened to this point. Williams is the kind of player that Miami needs to be adding to the roster every year, and this recruiting battle win could pay off huge for both player and team in the not too distant future.
On the 247sports composite, Williams is a 4-star prospect, the #20 CB nationally in this class, #2 in the State of Alabama, and #160 recruit overall.
Williams flipped to Miami from his previous commitment to Alabama. He selected the Canes from a list of 21 offers including Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, and Oregon, among others.
As a Player
Williams is known for his size — 6’1” 182lbs is big for a corner. He has good arm length to go with that height, and used both to great advantage in his HSFB career. Williams was named 1st team All-State in Alabama for 2018, attended The Opening finals last summer, was an Under Armour All-American, and played in the Alabama-Mississippi All Star game this year. So, suffice it to say that he’s pretty good.
The question with Williams is whether he’ll be able to stick at CB or not. He’s big and physical in the mold of Miami CB coach (and former 1st round NFL draft pick) Mike Rumph, so that’s where he’ll start. But, having been timed in the 4.6’s on the 40 yard dash, some think his best fit may eventually be inside at Safety. Miami will approach this the same way they did previously with Antrel Rolle and, more recently, Sheldrick Redwine. If Williams can stay outside, where Miami only has 6 scholarship Corners, he will. If he can’t, then he’ll move to Safety. Pretty simple.
For additional good measure, here’s an eval of Williams by John Garcia Jr. of 247sports
Long-limbed, muscular athlete with the look of a wide receiver or safety. Projects on defense because of versatility to play cornerback or safety with balanced instincts against the pass and the run. Great ball skills on offense, defense and special teams in high school with play-making ability in space. More quick than fast. Good, not great hips that could lend to more of a zone fit within a secondary. Length and above-average physicality to project as nickel style DB with high football IQ to boot. May need a year to physically develop into safety or combo DB before settling into a starting role at the Power 5 level. Could blossom into a second day (third round) NFL Draft pick.
- Ball Skills
- Average speed
- “tweener” who isn’t a pure CB or S
- Man to Man coverage
Williams is the highest rated defensive signee for Miami in 2019, and the Canes only have 6 scholarship CBs on the roster right now after moving Gilbert Frierson to STRIKER. With that low number of available corners, it stands to reason that Williams, who said feeling wanted AND NEEDED was the biggest factor fo his commitment to Miami, will see playing time early on in his career.
Chance for a Redshirt: 3/10
The big thing is going to be Williams’ ability to learn the scheme and execute his assignments. But, he’s a top tier recruit who has a long history of success in doing just that. We’ll see how things go for him as a freshman, and beyond.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.