This is a year like few others in recent history for defensive tackle talent in the state of Florida. With so many outstanding players at this position, someone is bound to be overlooked. Longwood Lyman’s Ian Williams might have not have gotten the publicity of some of the others in the state but he is a legitimate big time talent with an offer list to prove it.
At 6-2, 300 pounds Williams is big but isn’t the fastest guy on the field, but strap the shoulder pads on and there aren’t many offensive linemen capable of stopping him. You won’t find many. He just knows how to slap, tug, shift, spin, or whatever move he favors to get to the backfield.
Friday night his Lyman team had a rough go of it, losing a tough defensive match to Miami Monsignor Pace. Williams did his part with eight tackles, three tackles for loss, and a quarterback hurry. Lyman has some excellent talent on the field, especially on defense where Florida Gator linebacker Brandon Siler’s little brother David Siler starts at linebacker as a sophomore. Williams knows there is talent there and he also knows he will have to do his part to step up.
“We have plenty of talent all over the board, we just have to mix it together as a team,” Williams said. I think I am going to play real well this year. I am trying to show the young guys how to do things and be an example.”
Williams hears from college coaches all over the map but only a few will have a chance to get an official visit.
“I have been hearing a lot from the same schools, namely Florida, Notre Dame, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Virginia,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t say I have a top five but Florida is at the top.”
The college coaches see a lot in Williams’ game that could transfer to the field at the next level. It is very hard to teach someone that size to do the things he does.
“They like how I come off the ball and react to where the ball is,” he said. “They like how quick I am for how big I am.”
He knows he still has a way to go to be as good as he wants to be.
“I have improved on my pass rush,” he said. “I went to the Auburn camp in my sophomore year and that really helped me a lot with my spin move and stuff like that. I can still improve on my pass rush and some of the moves I can use for the games. I just want to learn the game more. I only started playing football in my freshman year, I wasn’t able to focus back then and now I have to.”
The Gators are on top and likely have been for quite some time. It seems that the University of Florida was the first to notice this central Florida standout.
“They are the first to offer me and Coach (Urban) Meyer was the first coach to come down and see me before anyone knew who I was,” Williams said. “It is a great school at the University of Florida.”
He also likes the assistant coaches that he deals with and that would be coaching him if he signed with the Gators.
“Coach (Charlie) Strong just jokes around with me sometimes and I think he would be a cool coach to be around,” he said. “Coach (Greg) Mattison is on top of you at practice. I expect that and get that from my d-line coach. I like it and expect it from a coach to make me better.”
It is going to be a little bit longer wait for Williams and his final collegiate decision. It should be sometime late in this football season.
“I will make a decision in late October or early November,” he said. “I am planning on taking some visits. I have one for Notre Dame set for September 9th when they play Penn State. Since I have been to Florida a lot I will probably take an official there in December.”
The final decision will be based on a couple of things.
“The coaches and the academics and prestige in the school are very important,” Williams said. “I plan on majoring in sports marketing, business management or TV. broadcasting.”
And so the wait goes on for this big time defensive talent. Ian Williams is going to make one school very happy by early November.