The Vols already have one four-star junior college prospect committed to them in their 2019 recruiting class. And they’re in a good spot with another highly-rated JUCO recruit in this cycle too.
Sam Williams is a four-star defensive end/linebacker who plays for Northeast Mississippi Community College. On late Monday night, he released his top five schools, and Tennessee made the cut.
Here it go pic.twitter.com/yyh5jlHbrY
— Big SAM (@DegarrickSamuel) June 12, 2018
The Vols join Lane Kiffin’s FAU squad, Oregon, and two other SEC schools in Auburn and Ole Miss as finalists for Williams. He unofficially visited Tennessee back on May 12th and just attended a camp at Ole Miss on June 1st as well. He also holds offers from Texas A&M, Kentucky, Maryland, and others. Tennessee was Williams’ first Power Five offer once he went to junior college.
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Williams is the No. 6 JUCO player in the 2019 class and is the third-best defensive end among all JUCO prospects. Williams originally hails from Montgomery, Alabama and attended Robert E. Lee High School.
Though he’s officially classified as a defensive end by recruiting services, Williams definitely projects as an outside linebacker at the collegiate level, especially in a 3-4 defensive scheme like Tennessee’s. The 6-foot-5, 250 pound defender knows how to rush the passer, and that’s what UT’s outside linebackers will primarily do.
Williams’ film shows off his athleticism and acceleration. He’s disruptive in the backfield and has some impressive strength. With his size and speed, it’s no wonder he’s one of the higher-rated JUCO prospects in this cycle. He looks like a slightly slimmer version of Tennessee linebacker Daniel Bituli while on the field, and he plays with intensity and does a good job of wrapping up on tackles. It remains to be seen just how effective he is in pass coverage, but he probably won’t be asked to do too much coverage if he comes to Tennessee.
According to the school’s website, Williams totaled 53 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in nine games for Northeast Mississippi last season.
Laika Henry, the No. 1 JUCO linebacker in the 2019 class, committed to the Vols last month. He projects to be an inside linebacker for Tennessee, and Williams would be an outside linebacker should he come to Tennessee too. The Vols obviously want experienced bodies at linebacker for next season, and landing Williams would be huge for Pruitt and his staff for next year and 2020.