Devon Williams is an intriguing prospect at 6-4, 200 pounds and athletic. On his high school team, last season he played quarterback, wide receiver, and safety and returned punts. Admittedly, in the video the competition Williams plays against isn't much, but you can still see that he has very good quickness for a kid his size. Usually at 6-4ish, juniors in high school are still somewhat awkward and it takes a little while to get themselves gathered before they can get their body unwound to move. Williams has the fast-twitch of a smaller player to go along with that 6-4 length. In the film you can see, when he plays safety, he likes to come up a and hit people, and it'd be interesting to see him at safety on the next level. He would undoubtedly be able to fill out that frame to probably 225 -- so you'd have a 6-4, 225-pound safety who likes to hit but can also patrol and dominate a wide swath of passing lanes with that length. We, though, see him as a receiver in college. He has very good ball skills, snagging balls out of the air with one hand in his highlight reel. He'd be a great candidate for that face route in the corner of the endzone. And he's explosive for his size, being very shifty in his routes and elusive after the catch.
On either side of the ball, too, Williams plays physically. Sometimes you can get 6-4, 200-pound prospects that are all finesse, but Williams likes to hit people and as a receiver is tough to bring down and clearly takes pride in his blocking.
As a high school quarterback, he shows a very good feel for passing concepts, which can only hlep him as a receiver, and, again, elusiveness. One thing to note: He does throw one pass 55 yards in the air in that video.
Also, check out the tweet below with the video of Williams going one-on-one with his coach. The takeaway there is the agility and quickness of that 6-4 body in those initial moves at the line of scrimmage.
What We Want to See In Person
Obviously at this time of year there are quite a few prospects we want to see in person that we either have never seen in the flesh before or haven't seen since last summer. But Williams is easily among the few we want to see the most. We have a natural skepticism about how good all those excellent traits we see on film will translate into a combine or 7-on-7 environment against elite competition. We want to verify he's actually 6-4ish. On film, he looks fairly fast for his size, but that could be the competition that's stuck in mud he's running past. If he lives up to even just some of the expectation, the three-star Williams could be one of the biggest sleepers in the 2018 class out west and be a candidate to earn another star.
Williams went fairly unnoticed all through his junior season. He's not exactly playing at a high school that college coaches typically flock to for elite prospects. But he had some teammates in the 2017 class that were recruited at the Power 5 level, Moses Robinson-Carr and Morrell Osling, so that undoubtedly first got college coaches looking at Antelope Valley tape, and then they probably sized up Williams in person when they were on campus in January recruiting Robinson-Carr and Osling. Oregon was the first to offer Williams in the beginning of January, and that makes sense, since Robinson-Carr was an Oregon commit since the previous summer and part of the new staff came over from Colorado, where Osling was committed at the time. Oregon State and UCLA got on board a couple of days later. UCLA, obviously, was recruiting both Robinson-Carr and Osling. The word on Williams must be starting to get out since Florida State just offered this last weekend.
We did mention that Robinson-Carr and Osling, Williams' teammates and friends, just signed with UCLA earlier this month. We've heard both are recruiting Williams for the Bruins. In fact, check out the tweet from Signing Day when Robinson-Carr puts his UCLA hat on Williams.
It's natural to think UCLA will be a big contender for Williams going forward. But if Williams checks out in person at camps and 7-on-7s this spring and summer, we'd expect more like Florida State to jump in for him.