Ranking the Contenders: Jeremiah Williams
Not too long ago, it looked like Birmingham (Ala.) Ramsay linebacker Jeremiah Williams was going to commit, but after turning his focus to six schools in the spring, he has decided to ride the recruiting process out and announce his decision in December.
The finalists for the four-star are Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma. He has visited all but two of the finalists, and he has established strong relationships with coaches from each staff.
Who will Williams end up selecting when that time comes? Let's rank the contenders months in advance to see where Rivals feels each school sits on his list.
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Ranking the Gators on top, ahead of two in-state schools, may surprise some but Williams took a visit to the Swamp before things were shut down and Florida made a strong impression. Since the ban on visits, Williams has gotten close to linebackers coach Christian Robinson. Those two have connected and have become very close. They do not talk much football anymore, and it is just a relationship that has blossomed this spring. The combination of that connection and the opportunity Williams sees in Gainesville has put Florida in the top spot.
If this list would have been made at the beginning of the year, Auburn would have been one spot higher. The argument could still be made that the Tigers are the favorite. It is an in-state school, he has visited the Plains a handful of times, he has a bond with linebackers coach Travis Williams and he is very familiar with Auburn as a program. We expect Auburn to be in this to the end, and that strong connection with the staff could help the Tigers when the decision is made.
One of the first true recruiting trips Williams made early on was to LSU. He went with some family members, including his grandfather, and the Tigers really impressed him. When the grandfather speaks, Williams listens, and that first visit to Baton Rouge laid down the groundwork for LSU in this race. He has taken two more trips since and has continued to build relationships with multiple staff members, including head coach Ed Orgeron. The consistent defense LSU pushes out always has had Williams’ attention.
If it would have been a normal spring, Williams likely would have taken a trip to Norman to see if Oklahoma lived up to his high expectations. Williams knows about the offensive firepower the Sooners always have under Lincoln Riley, but it is the chance to be a difference-maker on defense that stands out. Williams sees an opportunity to bring something Oklahoma needs as a hybrid, he feels like a top priority and the staff has been very transparent with him this spring about its needs. An official visit to Oklahoma is expected this fall.
Is Alabama really this low? Based on our sources, the Crimson Tide have some work to do if they want to land Williams come December. That is still six months away, which is an eternity in recruiting, so this list is likely to change between now and then. Williams has visited Alabama more than any other school on his list, so he knows a lot about the program and its history and he has a good feel for Tuscaloosa. The Tide defense appeals to him, and of course so does the way they push players to the NFL. The interest is there, but it doesn’t seem to be as high as it does with some of the others on his list at this time.
There has yet to be a visit to Athens and some were even surprised Georgia ended up in Williams’ final list. With that said, he was planning to trip to Athens this spring to get his first look at the Bulldogs and he has been having weekly conversations with defensive coordinator Dan Lanning the last few months. He likes UGA’s defensive scheme, how he could be a versatile linebacker there and he plans to take his first visit to Athens early in the season.