Expert Analysis: Williamson Very High on U-M South Regional Manager fielded questions from GoBlueWolverine’s Sam Webb about Michigan’s standing with some of the top prospects in his region. The focus of this portion of the interview is Gainesville (Ga.) ATH Chris Williamson. Are the Wolverines now in the pole position for one of the South’s hottest talents?

Sam Webb:  Another kid that I know you know all about, Chris Williamson.  You might be the only person that has talked to Chris Williamson since his Michigan visit Chad.  He is a 6-1, 185 pound athlete from Gainesville, Ga. 

Chad Simmons:  “He’s been obviously overwhelmed.  I’ve talked to him, his father, multiple coaches on the high school staff.  This is a kid that I’m talking about on Thanksgiving weekend had two scholarship offers.  We get to the New Year, January 1st, 2015 rolls in and the kid is looking at going from two offers to two dozen scholarship offers.  It was a lot to take in.  He was a kid that played limited time after transferring schools as a junior.  He battled a hip flexor his junior year.  Then he had a shoulder injury this past spring, which kept him out of college camps in June and July, so he was kind of an unknown kid who really maximized on being healthy, and playing for a very good high school team as a senior, having 1000 yards receiving, 50+ tackles, and two interceptions at corner.  The kid knew he had one kind of moment left to make a name for himself and took advantage.  Tell you it was big this week, Michigan has already cemented themselves in the game, they’re right there I think with North Carolina at the top right now in the top two.  Florida beat out Georgia, an instate school for the final visit this weekend, so Florida I think is the third team.  Cal’s been with him since early December.  He took a visit out west in early December when they offered him.  So they have a little space maybe in his heart, because they came at him before the Michigan’s, the Florida’s, the Georgia’s, the Notre Dame’s, schools like that.  So Cal I think is in it, though I do not see him going all the way out west based on what I’m getting right now.  At this time a week ago, I think North Carolina had the edge on Michigan.  I think that gap has been closed tightly and I wouldn’t even be scared to say that Michigan may have a slight edge right now over North Carolina going into this final weekend.  The in homes visits, the conversations over the phone that Chris and in particular his father has had with these college coaches are making a big impact.  That’s why I think Michigan has really come all the way back right now to be right there.  I think it’s really tight between Michigan and North Carolina.  Florida has their chance this weekend to get in the game.  The dad does like the state of Florida, the weather, the whole SEC thing and all that.  Right now, I think North Carolina and Michigan are real tight at the top for Chris.”

Sam Webb:  He is three star, but he has really blown up here in the past couple of months.  He’s an athlete, big time stats at receiver, but at corner he also made an impact.  Where do you see him at the next level position wise?

Chad Simmons:  “Just to touch on, you said three star, he has a four star offer list without question.  I wish I could have seen him play in person.  He may be a four star kid, but getting in with him so late and only being able to watch tape and never seeing him live in a camp, never seen him at a practice or a game in person, I just didn’t feel confident putting him over some other guys that I have seen so many times in person.  It kind of felt, just more confident in evaluating, but Chris is definitely a talent, take that star thing away.  The kid is a playmaker.  I think he is more natural as a wide receiver.  He’s played that position his entire life, but he got on the field this year for the first time ever in high school as a lock down cornerback and I think he’s showed and he’s right there in that six foot, 6-1 range, which man that’s height.  Defensive back coaches dream of coaching a corner and I think the weirdest thing about this is that typically, when you have offensive and defensive guys that play both ways, they tend to want to play offense and score touchdowns and be on that highlight reel.  Chris actually prefers playing corner.  He wants to go play defense.  He feels his ceiling, which I agree with is highest at defensive back.  He thinks with his size, his skill set, his quickness, he can benefit by playing defense and go farther and be better in college and hopefully for him playing in the NFL one day at DB.  If that doesn’t work, trust me, he can be a very good wide receiver and an outstanding kick return guy punt return guy.  Like you called him Sam, he is a great athlete.”

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