Five-star Williams impressed with Gators’ “relentless” approach

The Gators received exciting news on Monday night when reports came out that five-star defensive end Mykel Williams would be a late addition to UF’s list of attendees for their Junior Day/Cookout event on Tuesday.

Williams, from Columbus, Georgia, indeed did show up shortly before noon for his first ever trip to the UF campus. In addition to the barbecue, he was given a tour of the facilities and got a chance to speak with head coach Dan Mullen and defensive line coach David Turner.

Williams said he noticed something different in the way Mullen and Turner are recruiting him versus the way other schools are.

“I would say it is a different approach,” Williams said. “They don’t come at it like every other school. They’re relentless, for real.”

It’s not hard to see why the Gators covet him so much. At 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, he has the size to play inside on passing downs and the speed and agility to play on the edge on early downs. That type of versatility is extremely important in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s scheme, which heavily relies on creating havoc in the backfield and doing multiple things from the same look to confuse quarterbacks.

Turner and Mullen are trying to sell him on playing that Zachary Carter type of role.

“They want to move me around,” Williams said. “They want to keep me at end, and then on third-down situations, I can go inside and to a nose or [three-technique].”

While Williams said he had a “real great time” on his visit, the Gators still have a ton of ground to make up to ultimately land his services. He put out a top-10 list on New Year’s Day that didn’t include UF. And, of course, Georgia coach Kirby Smart pretty much gets every five-star defensive player within his state.

Williams is scheduled to visit Auburn, Georgia and Alabama later this week.

He said the purpose of his Florida visit on Tuesday was to make sure that he didn’t miss something when he released his initial top-10 list. While he wouldn’t commit to taking an official visit to UF, he did say that it was a possibility and that “a lot of things would change” if he were to put out a new top-10 list today.

Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and has spent the last two football seasons writing for He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Rays. You can follow him on Twitter @ehughes97.