Notre Dame received its 22nd commitment for the recruiting class of 2015 when Indiana safety Mykelti Williams spoke with Brian Kelly this morning. Williams is listed at 6'0" and 198 pounds; in the 247 Composite, he's ranked #452 overall, #28 at safety, and #5 in Indiana. In addition to the Irish offer he received yesterday, Williams holds offers from Louisville, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Wisconsin, among others. He hasn't taken an official to Notre Dame but he says he's been on campus a number of times, including an unofficial visit for the 2012 Michigan game.
Mykelti was by his own admission tremendously moved when Mike Elston called yesterday with his offer, committing before they even got off the phone and tearfully relaying the news to his friends and family. He's a tremendous athlete who could potentially enter the depth chart immediately next year. And I'm not sure we mentioned this, but he's really excited about joining the Irish:
As was a certain prominent Irish player who also hails from Warren Central:
Recruiting Service Rankings
Rivals - 4 star (5.8 rating), #235 overall, #16 position, #3 in Indiana
247 - 3 star (89 rating), NR overall, #28 position, #5 in Indiana
ESPN - 3 star (76 rating), NR overall, #71 position, #10 in Indiana
Scout - 3 star, NR overall, #41 position, #6 in Indiana
247 Composite - 3 star (0.8730 rating), #452 overall, #22 position, #5 in Indiana
Worth noting that the Irish now have commitments from the #2, #3, #4, and #6 players in Indiana according to Rivals (Barajas, Williams, Bilal, and Tiassum, respectively).
So... I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about how to rank high school football players, but I see an awful lot to like about this kid. He's fast, he's strong, he blows up blocks, he tackles well, and he plays centerfield very well, and he loves to hit whether he's tackling or running the ball. On that last part, note in the video below that he's also the quarterback in a read-option offense - like Allen Rossum, who was an option quarterback in high school, Williams is an excellent athlete who should touch the ball as often as possible at the high school level.
If I had to pick something for improvement, I'd say that while he does tackle well in space a lot of them seem to be kind of shoestring, which kids might run out of at the next level. And from the highlight film it looks like he mostly plays against running offenses - while he acquits himself quite well against the pass, you wonder if there might be an adjustment period in college because he just hasn't seen it as much.
Williams is physically ready for college football, and will have the opportunity to fill out a rather sparse depth chart - most likely, only Redfield and Shumate will return at the safety position next year. While the Irish will still add at least one more safety, possibly two if the rumored casualty in the 2015 class comes to pass, I feel pretty confident in saying that Williams will be in the two deep early next season and contribute meaningfully throughout.
Long Term / Career
Tough to project with the number of bodies Notre Dame is bringing in at the position and without a good sense of what they can all do or who they even are, but Williams certainly has the physical tools to potentially replace Shumate in 2016. I could see him contributing in 2015, starting in 2016, and holding on to that role for two more years. I think the Irish may have just had a future star fall into their laps. No pressure, kid.