This Sunday marked the third time Jeremiah Williams has been on Tennessee’s campus, and it was a very informative trip for him this time.
Williams is an elite weak-side defensive end who plays for Ramsay High School in Birmingham, Alabama. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defender is rated as the No. 67 overall prospect on 247Sports and is the No. 115 recruit in their composite rankings. Both ratings have him listed as the No. 5 prospect in the state of Alabama in the 2021 cycle.
The talented edge rusher has been to UT’s campus before, but this Sunday was a very important visit for Williams. Since he last made the trip up to Knoxville, Tennessee changed coaches at his position, replacing Kevin Sherrer with Shelton Felton.
Williams got to meet Felton face-to-face, and he also talked with Tennessee defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley and inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer.
“I got to meet the new coach, Coach Felton. He’s real cool and real genuine,” Williams told me in a recent interview. “He’s gonna keep it real with you. I talked to Coach Ansley and Coach Niedermeyer, too. We talked it up and watched some film.”
Williams said that he got along well with Felton, and both Felton and Niedermeyer will be important in Williams’ recruitment. According to the four-star defender, Tennessee’s coaches believe he can fit the “four-for-four linebacker” mold that head coach Jeremy Pruitt covets.
“They said I’m a four-for-four linebacker, which means I can play the two outside linebacker spots and rush and drop into coverage or I could play behind the ball at the inside linebacker spot and rush the passer there too,” Williams explained.
But it’s not just Felton, Niedermeyer, and Ansley who Williams has a good relationship with; basically all of Tennessee’s defensive staff talk with Williams on a regular basis. That includes defensive quality control analyst Jeremiah Wilson, too.
“I talk to everybody,” Williams said. “I talk to Coach Pruitt and Coach Wilson, too. I really talk to everybody, for real. I talk to everybody consistently throughout the week.”
It should come as no surprise, then, that Williams considers Tennessee as one of the top schools that’s recruiting him the hardest right now. Williams also mentioned that Florida, Auburn, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Alabama are all recruiting him hard as well.
Williams first visited Tennessee back in October when the Vols played Georgia. He came back for a Junior Day event on January 25th, and this past Sunday marked his third trip to Knoxville. He recently visited Alabama and has also visited LSU, and he says the only future visit plans he has as of right now is a trip down to Gainesville to see Florida this upcoming weekend.
As far as when Williams plans on making a commitment, he’s still working that out. Williams released a list of his top 15 schools back on Christmas, but he doesn’t have a hard-set plan to trim that list in the near future. Williams’ only plan right now, other than his trip to Florida, is to attend a camp for Nike’s The Opening.
When Williams was a sophomore, he was named to the First Team of the Class 5A All-State team in 2018. He followed that up with a solid junior season in 2019, and he has lofty goals for both himself and his team in 2020.
“My main goal is to win state with my teammates,” Williams stated. “My personal goal is to make the MaxPreps All-American Team, and I want to lead the nation in sacks.”
The Vols need linebackers in a big way in their 2021 cycle, especially someone who can rush the passer. Williams fits that mold perfectly, and Tennessee has positioned themselves well with the dynamic defender down in Alabama.
Tennessee currently has five prospects committed to them in their 2021 class, and three-star Darrell Jackson is the only who currently projected as a pass rusher.