BYU eyeing 2013 Oregon linebacker

The BYU Cougar coaching staff is looking at prospects to fill next year's football recruiting class. The coaches already have four commits for 2013, and are now looking at an under-the-radar prospect from the Portland area who plays both running back and inside linebacker for his high school team.

At 6 feet 2 inches, and now pushing 225 pounds, Jeffrey Williams is an aggressive two-way player for Tualitin High School. His size makes him a formidable blocker and bruising runner on the offensive side of the ball. While on defense, the same physical attributes have made him one of the more dominant players on his team.

"Last season I was mostly an h-back within our offense, but next year I'm going to be the main back," said Williams. That's what it's looking like. I didn't have a whole lot of running back opportunities last year and was mostly a blocker.

"I think that's going to change next year, but I only had around four touchdowns last season. I played more like a slot position last year and don't really know all my stats. This coming year I'll be switching to tailback.

"As a linebacker, I did really well. I move really well for my size and sent in my film to BYU. The linebackers coach told me that he really likes my athleticism and speed."

Williams had a productive season on defense despite limited playing time.

"I had around 75-80 tackles from the inside linebacker position. I didn't really play the entire game throughout the season because I only played half the game. We blew out a lot of teams early so I would only play half a game. Usually by halftime we would be up to the point where I never really played in the fourth quarter. I think I only played one game all the way through."

When asked to describe himself and his style of play, Williams said, "I'm athletic and one of the faster guys on my team. I move well for my size, and as the season went on I felt I got better and better. If I were to describe my style of play, I would just say athletic with good speed to cover a lot of ground."

Meanwhile, BYU outside linebacker coach Kelly Poppinga is in charge of recruiting in the state of Oregon.

"I've spoken with Coach Popping before and he told me that he really liked the way I move," said Williams. "He told me that they were interested in me and that I'm welcome to call him if I have any questions.

"They said they're interested in me as a possible inside linebacker prospect. Coach Poppinga said he was going to be coming back to the Portland area sometime this month. I need to call him to find out what's going on."

Last summer Williams was on BYU's campus to attend the Cougar summer camp. He participated at the camp then as a 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound running back, and got the award for the camp's top running back.

"After that, Coach Poppinga called my coach and talked about me," said Williams. "I've emailed him a few times and sent him my highlights and he really liked them."

Although Williams is on the Cougar coaching staff's radar, he has kind of gone under the radar when it comes to overall exposure and recruiting.

"Well, I haven't really put myself out there much," said Williams. "I'm kind of under the radar and our team didn't really go very far in the playoffs. I've been to BYU's camp and did really well there, so I'm hoping that kind of gets the ball rolling a little."

Williams is LDS and both of his parents attended BYU. He's hoping BYU will take a serious look at him and even pull the scholarship trigger.

"I think I'm still in the evaluation stage right now but I know they're interested in me," Williams said. "My hope and goal is to get a BYU offer. That would be incredible. I spoke to my coach about BYU last week and he said he felt that BYU was talking a good look at me and showing interest. Coach Poppinga said he was interested in me as a possible inside linebacker. When he comes out here sometime this month I should know more what the situation is then."

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