Football commitments. Remember what those are like? It's been a while.
Kill and his staff went down to Texas again for their latest pledge:
Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsGI) September 30, 2013
Mansfield (TX) Legacy HS linebacker prospect Everett Williams made his verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota today, becoming the 7th player to join Jerry Kill's class of 2014. Williams is listed as a 3 star prospect according to the 247 Industry Composite, picking Minnesota over listed offers from Navy, ULM and New Mexico State.
Everett is the 3rd defensive player in the 2014 class and first linebacker pledge.
Gopher247's Joe Funk with a post official visit recruiting article ($):
"They told me I was a top priority. I got to talk to coach Miller, he said right now they see me as an outside linebacker. They said I would get a chance to play right away, because right now they have two seniors that will be graduating."
From a GopherHole Q&A:
Gopher Hole: I know that you are also a very good student with a 3.8 GPA and a 1490 SAT, right?Everett Williams: Yes, sir. After this semester, I think that it went up to 3.9
Smart kid. That's probably why he was wanted in Annapolis.
ESPNU scouting report ($):
Williams has acceptable size for an athlete that leans towards being a LB or TE-H type of player. He plays with average strength as he never really overpowers the opposition. His strength is also average as he runs well but does not wow when in the open field. Seems to lack a true explosive burst.
I question when ESPNU actually reviewed film on Everett, since every other recruiting site has him listed as a pure OLB. They also list him on the shorter end of the spectrum. Here is where I note that ESPN's recruiting evaluations and coverage have slipped below Scout's in terms of overall quality and breadth.
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables
Weight: 198-222 lbs.
Fake 40 time: 4.53-4.91s
Early senior year, via Hudl.
Junior year, via Hudl.
If y'all will allow me to be facetious for a second here, it's clear what the staff recruiting philosophy is on defense: grab all of the Predator Hairs.
As for Williams as an OLB prospect, they've clearly been after him for a while; Minnesota spotted Everett shortly after the conclusion of spring practice and made the offer on May 2nd. According to the GopherHole Q&A, it was Coach Claeys who went down for a Mansfield Legacy open practice during the early part of the spring evaluation period, with the staff soon after. Of all the linebacker prospects the Gopher staff was after, especially at OLB, Williams was the one player whom the staff most consistently pursued among the realistic targets.
Now, I don't quite know what a fair comparison to Williams' game would be, given the limited window you get on a kid from several strained minutes of Internet video. I'll take a stab at it: he's an amalgamation of Aaron Hill and Keanon Cooper. A smaller frame like Cooper's (though Williams is taller and has a wider base) but has the instincts and pass coverage ability like Hill's. Plus, his SAT, GPA and Navy offer indicate smarts. So, there's that.
Williams doesn't quite have the length of De'Vondre Campbell, DeNiro Laster or Rayfield Dixon, nor is he a thumper like Damien Wilson. I'd say he's a developmental guy, though every time I say that about a prospect, this staff ends up playing them on special teams. He's not a guy that will come in and start in the B1G, if that clarifies things. His junion year tape isn't overly flashy, though he does show some big play ability.
My guess? The staff really liked what they saw during the spring open practices (another aspect where Texas and other states are ahead of Northern states like Minnesota), his junior year full game tape showed consistency and the character/grade evaluation put it over the top. At a minimum, a guy who provides depth at a position where the Gophers will be losing (or have already lost) a few players.