Craig “Sqwirl” Williams is an explosive athlete both on the football field and in the track lane. As a sophomore at Crosby High School, Williams tallied nearly a thousand yards on ground, good for 11.1 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns. He showed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well, adding 202 yards on 14 catches and another score.
That athleticism garnered early interest and offers from a number of Power Five schools including Arizona State, Auburn, Virginia Tech, and others. Utah also took early notice, extending an offer to Williams almost a year ago. He’s been near the top of their list ever since.
Williams struggled with injuries during his junior campaign and was only able to participate in five games. Despite the limited action, Williams still proved to be productive and is looking forward to a healthy senior season. In the meantime, he has turned his focus onto track season. Just last night (4/6) he broke the Crosby school record in the 100m dash event with a time of 10.42 seconds. He placed 1st in 200m dash at the district meet as well.
Between the track numbers and a laser timed 4.36 in the 40, Sqwirl’s speed is on full display. The nickname was given to him over a decade ago after he caught a fleeing squirrel before it could escape up a tree. The nickname and the speed stuck. Even a quick peek at his tape shows an affluence of both speed and agility. He has excellent footwork, showing the ability to quickly change direction, creating space between defenders. There is the threat of the big play any time he touches the ball.
Williams is a bit undersized, listed at 5-foot-9 inches 166 pounds, but says he has been working to add weight and is now up to 172 pounds. Pass blocking is another area of the game he wants to improve during his senior season. He knows it will be an important role at the next level. Williams reminds me a bit of current Ute Troy McCormick in size and ability. I can also see the Utes using Williams in the slot, as they’ve been using McCormick during spring camp and presumably during the 2017 season.
Things have not slowed down on the recruiting trail either. The most recent offer came from the Washington State Cougars. He hears from the Utah staff more than any other school though. Williams has began the process of narrowing his options and intends to release a list of his top schools in the coming weeks. He is looking for a straight-forward and honest coaching staff, academic notoriety, and a place he’ll feel comfortable during his college career.
Williams’ primary recruiter is new running backs coach Kiel McDonald. When asked about his relationship with the coach, he simply but enthusiastically described it as “great” and that McDonald possesses the previously mentioned traits that he is seeking in a coaching staff. He also expressed excitement for new offensive coordinator Troy Taylor and feels that he would be a excellent fit for his style of offense.
Williams was originally scheduled to attend the Red & White game on April 15th, but has decided to postpone the trip until the summer as he intends to spend an entire week getting familiar with the school, the football program, and the city of Salt Lake. When Williams does make an official visit a prime candidate for his host will be fellow Crosby High School alum Raelon Singleton. The two spent time together in workouts before Raelon left for Utah. He also mentioned being good friends with Raelon’s younger brother.
Between the extended visit and close ties with a current player, Utah stands in a really good place with Williams. It’s still early in the recruiting process, but he will definitely be someone to keep an eye on throughout.