And just like that, it gets really real. Stanley “Boom” Williams, the #1 ranked all purpose back (per Rivals) committed to the Kentucky Wildcats today and in the process, helped move the Wildcats to the #3 class in the country for 2014.
Williams is a 5’8, 196 pound back from near Atlanta and is ranked as the #96 player in the class per Rivals. Williams is the fifth commit since Sunday and all five of the commits are a four star player by one of the major recruiting services. There will be competition for Williams in Lexington as he joins Mikel Horton and Nebraska transfer Braylon Heard in the 2014 class. If Josh Clemons recovers from his knee injury as expected, Kentucky could have the best backfield in the SEC and country for a few years.
Here is what ESPN has to say about Williams as well as some video:
A player with excellent speed to the edge and can turn the corner and go. Has a shorter, muscular frame that is built low to ground and tightly wound. Possesses scat-back type quickness and speed.
Can get through tight creases and excels at hitting the seam just as it opens. Not real shifty and lacks great in-line vision, but is still difficult to line up in traffic with his smaller size and suddenness.
Best asset is still his ability to get outside and reach the second level. Lacks an explosive second gear but he can shred a defense quickly with his ability to reach top speed in a hurry. Makes quick, subtle cuts through second level traffic. Lacks sudden change-of-direction cuts in the open field to spring more long runs and hips are not real loose. Does not naturally make defenders miss and is too often tackled in one-on-one situations for a back with his speed.
Is very well-balanced and is not afraid to drop his shoulders and initiate contact. Will keep his feet moving to spin out of a pile. Runs with good toughness given his size and has natural leverage and some pop to his frame to absorb a hit and retain balance. Will break arm tackles but this is not a projected power-back or high-carry inside runner at the next level. Yards after contact production is not consistent and durability could be an issue if asked to be an every-down back.
For a smaller runner and potential multi-purpose back with his speed and quickness, we would like to see better elusiveness and more polish in the passing game. Should be an immediate contributor on special teams, though, and a potential dangerous returner. Overall, Williams might not possess a natural running skill set or project as an every-down college back but he possesses home run type speed that will be coveted at the next level in a change of pace type of role.