Hosted by true freshman cornerback Donte Burton, Hollywood, Fla. (Chaminade-Madonna) cornerback James Williams experienced a Madison summer as he officially visited Wisconsin last weekend.
From hanging out with the players, going on a boat ride and receiving a tour of the school, Williams took in quite the experience around campus. What stood out the most to the Florida product during his trip, however, were his potential future teammates.
“The players were very welcoming, cool and I felt like I’ve known them for longer than I’ve known them,” Williams told B5Q on June 4. “Like I only met them for two days, but it felt like I’ve known them for years. It was so welcoming. We had a lot to talk about, and it was just good.”
After defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard and the coaching staff offered the three-star recruit back in January, then experiencing UW in his only scheduled official visit so far, Williams verbally committed to Wisconsin on Sunday as the defensive back announced his decision via social media.
Williams is another South Florida defensive back who has committed to Wisconsin in recent memory, with a group including cornerbacks Derrick Tindal, Dontye Carriere-Williams and Faion Hicks. The latest UW verbal pledge noted he actually played against Hicks when the latter was still at Charles W. Flanagan High School.
Listed at 6’0 and 195 pounds in his Hudl profile, Williams’s junior year film shows a cornerback that blanketed opposing wide receivers at the high school level in the Sunshine State.
“I usually just play corner, but if anything’s happening and I need to go to nickel [back] or safety, they’ll move me there,” Williams said, “so I’m willing to do whatever for my team.”
A personal highlight for Williams came when he intercepted a pass in Chaminade-Madonna’s Class 3A championship win over West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy last December.
Acknowledging he tries to mold his game after Arizona Cardinals All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson, the Hudl highlights show Williams rarely allowed separation between him and receivers.
“I would say very aggressive,” Williams said, when asked to describe his playing style. “I like to play aggressive, and just do anything to help my team out.”
According to Williams, he has received offers from Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Syracuse, Air Force and Iowa State, among others, with Rivals also listing Michigan and N.C. State as those who have offered as well.
How Leonhard and the Badgers will utilize Williams in the defensive backfield at the next level remains to be seen, though the prep cornerback believes he is in good hands.
“We hadn’t really talked much about it,” Williams said, “but they just told me that they’re going to do what’s best for me and make me the best player I can be and also the best player off the field I can be.”