Vols Make Top 5 for Elite Outside Linebacker

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    Earlier this month, Kourt Williams made his first trip to Knoxville. The Vols made a big impression on him, and now he’s included Tennessee in his list of finalists in his recruitment.

    Williams is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound outside linebacker who plays for St. John Bosco in Bellflower, California. On Friday, he tweeted out a graphic of his top five schools, and Tennessee made the cut along with Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, and Texas A&M.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Williams is the No. 170 overall prospect, No. 12 outside linebacker, and No. 15 player in the state of California. The Vols offered him back on January 31st of this year, and his official visit to Tennessee two weekends ago was his first time making a trip over to UT’s campus.

    Williams has already made official visits to all five schools in his top five. He made trips to Texas A&M and Oklahoma first, then he traveled to Penn State before going to Knoxville. He finished off his official visits by going to Ohio State. His trip to Tennessee did enough to firmly cement the Vols in his top schools, and now a decision could be looming. Williams told Greg Biggins of 247Sports at the time that he could make an announcement after he participates in Nike’s The Opening Finals this upcoming week.

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    “I have The Opening the week after (his Ohio State visit) but when I get back from that, I’ll sit down with my family and evaluate everyone,” Williams said. “I’m going to take it slow but I will make a decision before the summer. I don’t have a specific timeframe, just when it feels right and when I feel good, I’ll go ahead and do it.”

    At the regional camp for The Opening back in February, Williams ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and ran the shuttle drill in 4.09 seconds. He also had a 39-inch vertical leap. The Opening Finals begin on Monday, July 1st.

    Williams is a disruptor on defense, and he has very strong instincts. He possesses great reaction time and plays very naturally. There’s not a lot of hesitation in his game. He has great burst and makes sure the ball carrier isn’t going to escape his grasp. He’s tenacious and explosive and doesn’t let himself get taken out of plays often. He can run sideline-to-sideline and has some pretty good coverage skills as well.

    In 14 games as a junior for St. John Bosco, Williams totaled 74 tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks, and two passes defended according to MaxPreps.

    Our Take:

    The Vols are firmly in the mix for Williams, and his first — and so far only — trip to Knoxville really helped Tennessee. But will that be enough to put them ahead of teams he’s made multiple visits to?

    Williams has done a fairly good job of keeping his recruitment close to the vest, but it does seem like Ohio State leads for him at this point in time. With three different Vol commits participating at The Opening this upcoming week, expect Williams to hear a lot from Tennessee’s 2020 commits. That peer recruitment could help sway Williams, but as of now, it looks like the Buckeyes or Texas A&M could be the teams to beat.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.