Five-star Patriots’ safety senior James Williams announced his commitment to the University of Miami (UM) Tuesday, July 21. Williams, who had previously narrowed down his potential schools to the University of Georgia and UM, decided to declare his intentions to sign with the Hurricanes and the shutting down of his recruitment.
As the 33rd overall athlete in ESPN’s top 300 recruits, Williams became the top-ranked player to commit to UM, joining the seven other commitments in the class at the time. In 10 games throughout the 2019 fall season, Williams led Western to the regional finals with six interceptions to go along with his 62 tackles and five forced fumbles. In January, the 6’5 safety announced his return to Heritage, where he played his sophomore year, to finish out his high school career.
With his style of play and athletic frame, Williams has drawn many comparisons to the late great former Hurricanes’ safety Sean Taylor, as noted by Coach Patrick Surtain in an interview discussing Williams’ commitment.
“Obviously the rankings don’t tell the whole story, but at this particular age and level in high school, I think you can compare them,” Surtain said. “Sean Taylor is who he is and one of the best out there but this kid has a chance, if he goes to UM keep his head down and work on his craft I think he will definitely play on Sunday [in the NFL] and has a chance to make a very good living.”
While Williams has mainly played safety throughout high school, Coach Surtain expects Hurricanes’ coaches to experiment with Williams at a variety of defensive positions.
“He’s so versatile and he could do so many things to affect the game,” Surtain said in the interview with archysport.com. “I know UM coaches are going to find a way for him to move him because he can do so much. He can blitz on the edge, he can cover tight ends, he can cover the deep middle. That’s what makes it so special, it’s his versatility.”
Having committed to Miami, Williams tweeted his plans to put his focus on his upcoming senior year where he will try to lead Heritage to another state title.