TE Williams Dubs UM 'Team To Beat' Post Visit

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) hosted Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario) Sept. 24. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout and interview Canada Prep tight end Blake Williams, a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder with a Terps’ offer who visited Maryland for the first time right before the game. Our take on his game is below, while an interview can be viewed above:

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario) traveled down to McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) Sept. 24, but before the game, tight end Blake Williams stopped by one of his primary suitors, the University of Maryland. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, was absolutely thrilled with his stay and afterwards said UMD was the "team to beat."  

Williams discussed his Maryland visit, what's next in his recruitment, his injury, his medical condition that's kept him out the last two years and more. See what he had to say in the video above:

Meanwhile, below is our take on Williams' game from his film when he was at Mustang High (Okla.), before transferring to Canada Prep during the offseason.

The Oklahoma native Williams was regarded as a top tight end in the 2016 class before a medical condition forced him to miss two high school seasons. Now, after reclassing to 2017 and playing out his final year at Canada Prep, he’s hoping to reestablish himself.

The 6-4, 230-pounder has the size, speed, athleticism, hands and toughness to develop into a standout at the highest levels of college football. He has the potential to contribute early during his career and could be a starter after a year in the weight room and learning the ropes.

Physically, Williams is a lengthy tight end with a wide wingspan. He has long arms for his height, to go along with big hands and seemingly strong fingers. Williams has a thick frame too and looks to have little bad weight.

On the field, Williams lines up in the slot, out wide and inline, although he probably does the most damage out of the former since he’s a natural receiver. The Canada Prep product has a rapid-fire release, quickly enters his route and reaches top speed in a hurry. He readily eats up the cushion and possesses that second gear needed to burst by defenders down the field. While many high school tight ends operate in the short to intermediate range, Williams has the speed and acceleration to beat linebackers/safeties and take the top off.

Plus, Williams has a rather diverse route tree for his experience level, showing the ability to execute posts; out routes; curls; slants and the like. He’s also a smooth, precise runner, with little wasted movement or crossed up steps. He breaks well, changes direction without losing much momentum and knows how to disguise his patterns.

As a pass catcher, Williams possesses soft hands and usually catches balls at the tip. And since he has those long, strong fingers, Williams isn’t subject to drops.

Moreover, Williams shows superior body control and athleticism. He’s able to complete the circus catch, contorting his body to come down with wayward throws. He also can rise up with defenders and pulls down passes in traffic, Williams showing he's unafraid of contact.

Williams has a decent vertical, and his lengthy arms and wide wingspan give him an above-average catch radius. Basically, he can reach overtop safeties to snag jump balls down the seam.

After the catch, Williams has the giddy-up to pull away from linebackers. He’s not going to outrun fleet-footed corners or safeties, but he does have afterburners.

In terms of his blocking, Williams ably locates linebackers and keeps his quarterback clean. He’s also a willing run blocker, who isn’t afraid to tangle with larger trenchmen in the gaps.

But blocking is the one area where Williams probably needs to improve the most. When he lines up attached, Williams tends to play high. He doesn’t always generate power from his base, nor does he consistently strike underneath the pads. Thus, his initial punch lacks pop and he can be pushed off the ball.

Furthermore, Williams has to add strength to pack more power at the point of attack.  He could stand to improve his form and footwork too, particularly in pass protection.

Also, Williams will need the added muscle to defeat jams at the next level. Right now, he’s able to slip blocks and get into his route, but he’ll be challenged more readily in college.

Finally, Williams could always stand to keep improving his receiving fundamentals. He’s operating at a high level currently, but will need to run even tighter routes and show even more precise footwork in college.

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