Taking a closer look at Wisconsin 2016 commit Caesar Williams - a cornerback from Grand Prairie, Texas

Taking a closer look at the incoming members of the 2016 recruiting class, BadgerNation profiles Grand Prairie (TX) South cornerback Caesar Williams.

Caesar Williams


Commitment Date: 1/26/16

Commitment in the Class: 25th


Accolades: Rated the No.16 cornerback in Texas, No.16 in the Midlands and No.82 in the country ... first-team all-district as a senior, leading District 8-6A with three interceptions ... also recorded nine pass breakups and scored a kickoff return touchdown ... finished career with 12 interceptions, logging three picks each season ... team MVP as a senior ... also lettered in track and field ... mother competed in track and field at Clark Atlanta University

Recruiting Story: Williams’ recruitment started slow, especially considering his placement in the heart of one of the country’s biggest fertile recruiting territories. He picked up local offers Stephen F. Austin and Texas State, and an offer from Navy, by April 2015 and his interest was mostly contained to in-state and Midlands schools. By the summer Williams’ offer list began to grow, picking up power-five scholarships from Illinois and Indiana, nice in-state offers from Houston and SMU and a smattering of non-power five schools.

Originally wanting to decide by the beginning of his senior year, Williams postponed that decision indefinitely, wanting to take a closer look at Indiana and SMU – the two schools recruiting him the hardest. While he planned on making his decision after his season so he could take his officials, Williams started to feel a strong pull to stay close to home and play for SMU.

”It is a place where I could see myself playing. I’m still thinking, but SMU is pretty high,” Williams said following an unofficial visit in September. “I get calls every week because coaches get one per week so everyone keeps in touch, but SMU keeps in touch the most.”

SMU coach Chad Morris, charged with turning around a program that went 1-11 in 2014, was delivering the big sale’s pitch. He went as far as taking a helicopter to come see one of Williams’ games.

“Even after the game and after a loss the coaches still want to see you, talk to you, let you talk to a couple of players, and tell you they need you there.” Williams said following a different unofficial SMU visit. “(Morris) said don’t give up on us. We’re going to get this thing turned around and we need guys like you to help us turn it around.”

By late October Williams had a top six of Indiana, Illinois, Houston, Texas State, Tulsa and SMU. The Hoosiers and Fighting Illini were likely to get his first two official visits, but Williams appeared headed to SMU. That all changed when Wisconsin got in the mix.

The Badgers were still looking for one more cornerback to join Dontye Carriere-Williams and Ke’shan Pennamon in the class, and Williams’ name kept popping up when Gilmore made calls to inquire about available prospects. The film backed up what he was hearing, leading Gilmore to reach out in December and offer a scholarship, telling Williams he was better than half the kids the staff looked at throughout the entire process.

The relationship with Gilmore blossomed for Williams, who found out that his high school math teacher played for Gilmore at Nebraska.

“(My teacher) told me that Coach Gilmore tells you nothing but the truth,” said Williams. “Chis Orr – a freshman inside linebacker – said that everything they tell you is true. If they say you have a chance to play early, you’ve got a chance to play early.”

Impressed with Wisconsin’s national pedigree, Williams took an official visit in January and was floored by the atmosphere during a Badgers hoops game in which UW beat No.4 Michigan State, 77-76.

“I figured if a basketball game is like that, I can’t wait to see what a football game is like with 80,000 people, especially with Jump Around,” said Williams, who was hosted on the visit by receiver George Rushing. “Wisconsin has a top notch program with a lot of tradition in (its) culture.”

By the time he left Wisconsin, Williams had a top four of Indiana, Kansas State, SMU and the Badgers. He took an official visit to Kansas State the following weekend, but his mind on playing for Wisconsin was pretty much already made up. When he announced his commitment, he became the final piece of UW’s 2016 class.

Why Wisconsin? “Wisconsin was the right fit for me in all areas. It was a good fit football wise in terms of playing time, education was a big factor and the connection that I have built with the coaches.”

Scouting Report: Size and frame potential are two of Williams' best traits. They also suggest that he could possibly play a couple of positions in college. Cornerback is his most natural position, but he possesses nickel attributes (he can cover while also providing solid tackling, whether vs. the run or as a hitter in the secondary) and could possibly bulk into a safety.

Good height and great length give him high frame potential and help him as a competent run defender on the perimeter. They also make him a good jammer who isn't afraid to mix it up with receivers. He possesses ball skills that make him a threat to break up passes and create turnovers. He can improve short-area burst and flexibility in lateral movements, but has tested well in the shuttle and shows good long speed to help him in recovery.

In addition to his abilities on defense, Williams should provide a boost on special teams if needed. He has shown good return skills, while his physical traits that make him a good defensive prospect should also translate to coverage units in college.

Williams should bring with him a competitive nature considering that he started for one of the most talented secondaries in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, if not the state of Texas. Williams has played well at the highest level of Texas high school football -- both in practice and against opponents every week - so he should be ready for the competitive nature of Big Ten football. – Scout’s Texas recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks

Coach’s Quote: “With all the kids in this class, you are going to see good athletes. That’s what stood out. Caesar could do a lot of different things and gives us good flexibility. We were looking for kids who are smart, tough and dependable, and those qualities showed up.” – Wisconsin receivers coach Ted Gilmore

BadgerNation Prediction: The SMU staff apparently backed off of Williams when he wouldn’t commit to taking an official visit to the school. A touch odd but that’s UW’s gain. Wisconsin wants taller corners to avoid matchup disadvantages, and Williams will enter fall as one of the taller corners on UW’s roster. He describes his game as a quick twitch corner who is sound in his technique, which the Badgers could use this fall. Don’t be surprised if Williams plays a role on the Badgers’ defense right away.

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