Joyan Williams: His Coach's Take

Defensive lineman Joyan Williams is one of two players from Edna Karr High School in New Orleans expected to sign with Oklahoma State next week. With National Signing Day around the corner, we visited with Edna Karr High School head coach Nathaniel Jones about Williams and his future with the Cowboys.

We understand that Joyan goes by the nickname Yanni. How did that come about?
Jones: I don't know. It's a nickname that his teammates call him and everybody knows Joyan as Yanni.

What kind of young man is Joyan?
Jones: He is a playful, big kid. He has a great personality, but make no mistake he is a defensive lineman. He's a mixture in that he can be really aggressive and also fun loving. He really is two different people in that he can be a jokester and also likes to get after it, and he knows when he needs to be one and when he needs to be the other.

Joyan had a teammate this season in defensive end Gerald Willis III, who was an UnderArmour All-American and received a lot of publicity and is committed to Florida. Sometimes when that situation is present there can be some jealousy and problems with two proud and talented players in the same position group. Did you ever sense that?
Jones: I don't feel it was ever that way. Those two would joke and laugh with each other and they played well together on the same defensive line. They both had the same goal to win the state championship and that tied them together. I never saw any problems or any jealousy.

How soon would you project that Williams can jump in and contribute at Oklahoma State? I know that is always a hard position, defensive line, to project that development and how soon it will occur.
Jones: You know, you're right, you can never really tell, and some of that will be based on what Oklahoma State has coming back on the defensive line. Could he come in and contribute right away? Yes, I think he could because he could play end, he could play the three-technique physically. I think he could play inside (one-technique) but he would have to rely more on his quickness in there because you are talking about an 18- or 19-year-old playing against a 22- or 23-year-old and dealing with that brute strength. You can never tell how that matchup will go until you actually see it. I would say he could play and help primarily because Joyan can play multiple positions.

You said you wanted to say something about Oklahoma State graduate assistant defensive ends coach Eric Henderson?
Jones: Yes, I just wanted to say what a great job that coach Henderson did in recruiting these two kids and our players. He did a phenomenal job and it shows in how long Joyan (Williams) and Juwan (Offray) have been committed to Oklahoma State without wavering at all. We have coaches come in here from schools coast to coast, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Oregon, Texas, USC, all those schools come in and recruit here, and coach Henderson did a great job over the phone and when they were on the OSU campus of recruiting those two.

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