Williams fills the bill

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New Tennessee defensive coordinator John Jancek is looking for a specific type of lineman for his 4-3 scheme.

"In a 4-3 you're looking for guys that can get on edges, disrupt, penetrate," he said. "They're probably a little bit smaller but you're making up for that with quickness and speed."

One recent campus visitor basically epitomizes the type of dynamic playmaker Jancek is seeking: Chris Williams of Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Ga.

As a junior last fall the 6-foot-2, 270-pounder recorded 56 solos and 22 assists for 78 total stops, an average of 5.6 per game. Exactly half of his 56 solos were behind the line of scrimmage — 17 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. He also batted down two passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.

His best games last fall came against Newnan (7 solos, 3 assists, 2 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks) and Douglasville Alexander (7 solos, 3 assists, 3 tackles for loss). He was a major reason Sandy Creek High went 15-0 with its closest call being 11 points.

Given all of the above, it's little wonder Tennessee offered Williams a scholarship two weeks ago. He also has offers from Texas A&M, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

Williams, who visited Knoxville last weekend for Family Day, said he's looking for "a place I can feel comfortable and a place where I can connect with my coaches."

When asked what stood out most about his visit, he replied, "The coaches."

Williams takes a look around Neyland Stadium while in Knoxville on Saturday.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)
Williams has connected with one Vol aide, in particular — linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen.

"Coach Thig is a pretty cool guy," Williams said. "We have a lot in common. We like the same kinds of foods, we're both comedians, and we're both from the same area ... Atlanta."

Like Saturday's other visiting prospects, Williams was intrigued by the furious tempo of Tennessee's practice session.

"It was pretty intense ... fast paced ... just like the SEC," he said. "I could picture myself playing in it."

The Big Orange has one Sandy Creek High School alumnus on the team already — rising senior running back Rajion Neal. Williams met with him briefly during his tour of the Tennessee campus.

All things considered, the prospect came away very impressed with the Vols.

"They're in my top three right now," he said, "along with Ole Miss and Ohio State."

As he prepared to return home, Williams took a moment to sum up his visit.

"I enjoyed being here at Tennessee," he said. "I like the coaches and the facilities. The coaches are pretty nice. They seem like down-to-earth guys that take care of their players, get real close with 'em. That's the thing that matters most to me, when it comes down to my recruitment."

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