LB/DE Favors UM

It didn't seem like long ago that Gerald Williams was providing encouragement to his senior teammates. Then a freshman, Williams said he remembers being approached by his coach at the time.

"He was telling me how I'm such an inspiration because I was so young but yet so encouraging to everyone on the team," Williams said. "I've always been that way, I don't know why. I just feel that's the way it needs to be done."

Now Williams is a senior at Boyd Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes and he's ready for a huge season. He finished an outstanding junior season in which he had 132 total tackles and six sacks.

"This is my last year here," he said. "It's time to make something happen more than ever. I wanna see our record improve this year, hopefully make it into the state playoffs. That's our No. 1 goal right now."

Williams, who measured in at 6-4 1/2 and 226 at the MSL Combine last month, is expected to switch between linebacker and defensive end this season.

"I've been playing linebacker but a lot of the colleges are recruiting me for both so I'll get to prepare a little bit for that," he said. "A lot of people say that because of my size, I'll be a defensive end in college. I wanna keep my speed while getting bigger. Really though, it doesn't matter. I just want a chance."

Williams, who will be traveling with his AAU basketball team a lot this summer, has been playing football since the age of four.

"I started young, real young," he said. "I've learned a lot. Now I just feel like I work harder than other guys. I'm always the first one on the field and the last one off. That's how I was brought up with football."

The talented defender is now working with a personal trainer as he tries to continue becoming a better all around player. He ran a 4.8 at the MSL Combine with an NFL stopwatch on him; he jumped 31 inches and completed 15 reps at 185 pounds.

Those are just some of the reasons why he's one of the state's top defensive prospects right now. College coaches know it too.

"Pittsburgh just sent me a scholarship offer in the mail yesterday," he said. "I had them in writing already from Syracuse and Minnesota. A lot of people have been talking about offering. Some of them just wanna see my jamboree I guess or see my next test score."

Williams said he's spoken to coaches from many top programs this spring, including Miami.

"I'm probably going to Miami for their camp," he said. "Miami's a great program, it's a good place to be. They have had a lot of success. They came to the school last week. They're my leader right now. They said when they were watching my film, they just shut it off after they saw me run down the running back from Jackson. He said that's all they needed to see."

Williams, who has also seen coaches from FSU and Florida at his school this month, mentioned five schools that currently stand out to him right now.

"My top ones are UM, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, and LSU," he said.

With Williams looking at so many elite programs, he talked about how the depth charts at those programs may factor into his decision.

"I look at it like this -- anyone who is willing to give me a shot, I'll try to come in and take someone's spot," he said. "The best player will get the spot. Some teams may have more guys (at my position) than others but to me, it's all about taking someone's spot. That's what I'm gonna try to do."

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