Tennessee’s coaching staff is looking to add as many big bodies to the roster as quickly as possible. The Vols already have commitments from a handful of defensive tackles in the 2019 recruiting cycle, and they made the top six of another tackle on late Saturday night.
Kristian Williams is a four-star, in-state defensive tackle from Memphis. On late Saturday night, he tweeted out his top six schools, and Tennessee made the list. The Vols join LSU, Missouri, Memphis, Minnesota, and Indiana in the race for Williams’ commitment.
— Kristian Williams (@Kr75tian) August 5, 2018
Williams is rated as the No. 347 overall player, No. 22 defensive tackle, and 13th-ranked player in the state of Tennessee according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The regular 247Sports rankings have him as the No. 199 overall player, 11th-ranked defensive tackle, and No. 6 in-state player. Along with the schools in his top six, Williams also holds offers from Louisville, Ole Miss, and UCF.
Tennessee’s former coaching staff offered Williams back on April 12th of last year, and he took an unofficial visit to Knoxville for the Orange & White Game a week and a half later. He’s yet to visit Tennessee this year, however, but he used an official visit to see his hometown Memphis Tigers in April of this year. He’s also visited Alabama and Mississippi State this year. Tennessee’s current staff re-offered Williams back in January.
Williams already has good size at 6-foot-2, 272 pounds, and he’s played both defensive tackle and end for Southwind High School. He plays more tackle, however, and that seems to be the position he fits in best at. He has the type of build to be a three-technique tackle in UT’s 3-4 defense, but he could also play as a five-tech end like Kyle Phillips is going to this year for Tennessee. He’s great at stopping the run and does more than just clog the middle. He’s disruptive and has pretty good mobility for his larger size. He needs to get stronger once in college and fine tune his technique, but the raw athleticism and instincts are there.
Right now, the Vols currently have four defensive tackles committed to them in the 2019 class. Three-star LeDarrius Cox, three-star in-state tackle Elijah Simmons, No. 1 JUCO tackle Savion Williams, and three-star JUCO tackle Darel Middleton are all pledged to the Vols right now.
Gauging Williams’ recruitment hasn’t been particularly easy, but it’s safe to say that Memphis is the school that leads for him right now. They’re his hometown team, and he’s made a point to take an official visit to them already this year. If Tennessee wants to take another defensive tackle, they have several options in the 2019 cycle, and Williams has been someone they’ve been interested in. He’s a bit of a wildcard in this cycle, and his recruitment will be one to watch in the coming months.