Texas Lands Elite 2023 Five-Star Safety Derek Williams
Texas is on an absolute tear on the recruiting trail right now and it continued into Monday as the Longhorns picked up a commitment from Derek Williams, one of the nation’s top defensive prospects.
Rated as the No. 3 safety in the country by 247Sports, Williams could’ve gone nearly anywhere in the country but chose Texas over programs like Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Michigan , Clemson, Oregon, and Notre Dame among many others.
Williams, listed at 6-2, 185 pounds, is heading into his senior year at Westgate High School in New Iberia, Louisiana. In his evaluation of Williams, 247Sports’ recruiting analyst Cooper Petanga projects Williams as a 2-3 round prospect in the future.
“Appears to possess growth potential to add additional weight to his frame, depending on position could add anywhere from 15 to 20-pounds to his frame at the next level. Displays good athletic ability in all three-phases of the game, exhibiting the position versatility to play multiple positions on the defensive side of the ball (deep hash, slot defender, weak-side linebacker).
“Demonstrates good play speed and read and react ability at the safety position. Plays downhill and with little wasted motion. Can run and chase showing the ability to play in space and sideline to sideline. Speed and space type player that would appear to have a smooth transition to an in the box role if he continues to physically develop. Flashes some stack and shed ability at the point of attack, doesn’t lack a physical presence to his play style. Knock back tackler that plays with some violence, will strike you. Has the ability to line up over the slot and match up with bigger bodied receivers and tight ends in the passing game.
“Depending on growth potential can see moving closer to the line of scrimmage and potentially into the box. Multi-dimensional run and cover strong safety or linebacker. Covers a lot of ground defensively and will add immediate contributions on special teams. Projects as a high level multi-year starter at a Power Five program at the next level, could potentially be an all-conference linebacker within the right scheme fit.“
Williams’ commitment gives Texas 15 pledges for the 2023 class, and gives the Longhorns eight commitments in the last five days. The Longhorns’ 2023 class now ranks third nationally and could end up even higher if the trend continues.