Gentle Williams turns back Mississippi, Mississippi State and signs with Cal

Byron "Gentle" Williams is anything but, and he signed with Cal at 8:12 CST on National Signing Day.

There were several in-state schools that pursued Gentle Williams down the stretch, including Mississippi and Mississippi State, but sources say that after his official visit, the big offensive tackle out of Florence (Miss.) was more than shored up, and at 8:12 CST, he indeed did sign with California.

Williams, standing at 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, earned first-team All-State, first-team All-State 4A, and the Most Valuable Offensive Lineman 6-4A. Williams helped plow the way for a team that rushed for 3,033 yards (6.3 ypc) and 252.8 yards per game in 2015.

He's much faster than his size would suggest, and he plays through the whistle. Given how big Cal is getting up front, Williams, though rated as a tackle, has a lot of experience at center and guard, so there are a lot of places the Bears can put him. He's got a big lower half, plays with a lot of power and has very good balance.

"He played center this year, and he's really versatile, really athletic," said offensive line coach Brandon Jones. "I feel he can play the interior -- center and both guards -- does a lot of pulling and things like that, played some really good football in Mississippi. Another kid that has a ton of upside."

One of the top performers at the Alabama-Mississippi all-star game, Williams is a big get out of the heart of SEC country.

Scouting Report: "Gentle Williams will play one of the interior positions on the offensive line for the next level. The first thing you notice about Gentle is his footwork. That was evident at the Ole Miss senior camp this past summer when he ran a 5.08 forty weighing in at 288 pounds. He had the best footwork out of all of the offensive linemen for Team Mississippi. Very athletic and light on his feet. Williams will have to continue to work on his overall body strength but the tools are in place to become a successful lineman in a power five conference. Very coachable, very knowledgable about the game of football." -- Scout Mississippi Recruiting Analyst Yancy Porter Top Stories