One of the top players in the state of Louisiana is set to return to Knoxville for the first time since the summer of 2018.
Brandon Williams is a four-star linebacker in the 2020 class who plays for Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans. He tweeted out on Monday night that he plans to visit Tennessee this upcoming weekend.
Knoxville this weekend🍊#GBO
— Brandon Williams (@Bwilliams1556) January 22, 2019
It’s worth noting that Newman High School is the same school that Peyton Manning attended for high school. So Tennessee certainly has a connection there.
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Williams is the No. 256 overall player, No. 17 outside linebacker, and No. 11 player in the state of Louisiana in the 2020 class. He holds offers from LSU, Florida, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Kentucky among others.
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The 6-foot-3, 220-pound defender is originally from a country called Brunei Darussalam in Southeast Asia. His parents are first generation college graduates, and he grew up a fan of rugby. It wasn’t until he was 11 that he started actually playing football and getting more of an interest in the sport.
Now, Williams is considered one of the more versatile and athletic prospects at his position.
The talented defender took an unofficial visit to Knoxville in late July of 2018 and also visited in April of last year. Tennessee’s coaches extended an offer to him back in March of last year, and Williams still has the tweet announcing that offer pinned to the top of his Twitter profile.
Though he’s listed as a linebacker recruit, Williams plays mostly at defensive end for Newman High School. But it’s believed he’ll fit in best as an outside linebacker, especially in a 3-4 defensive system. It’s not outside the realm of possibility for him to add on another 30 or so pounds and play defensive end, though.
Williams has exceptional speed off the edge and has pretty good bend as well. His speed rush out of the defensive end position is extremely hard to block for opposing tackles, and he’s good at shedding blockers if they do get their hands on him. He’s still a little raw, and it remains to be seen how he can do in pass coverage — which is a must as an outside linebacker — but he has undeniable pass rushing skills and has elite speed. And all of this is just on his sophomore film.
As a sophomore, Williams broke Newman High Schools’ career sack record in just his second year on campus. Though stats haven’t been posted for his junior season, as a sophomore he totaled 45 tackles, nine sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and six forced fumbles. As a junior, Williams was named to the First-Team USA Today ALL-USA Louisiana Football Team.
Williams has several connections with Tennessee, and they were his first major offer in college football. Expect him to continue to be a focus of the 2020 class for UT’s coaches.