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Wisconsin football 2020 returnee profile: Caesar Williams

The redshirt senior returns to lead a young, talented cornerback group in 2020.

During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.

With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.

Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.

Up next in our series, Caesar Williams.

Name: Caesar Williams

Position: cornerback

2020 eligibility: redshirt senior

Recruiting info out of HS: 247 Composite 3-star, No. 154 cornerback, Grand Prairie, Texas

2016 recruitment: Paul Chryst went into Texas to secure the commitment of Williams, who was the No. 182 ranked player in the talent-rich state in the class of 2016. After taking visits to Wisconsin and Kansas State, Williams verbally committed to the Badgers in January, a week before national signing day. The only other significant offers Williams received were from Illinois, Indiana, Houston, SMU and all three service academies. The Grand Prairie native has turned out to be a great find for the Badgers and is just another example of a lightly recruited player that Chryst and his staff have been able to turn into a Big Ten starter.

Career statistics: 28 games played, 59 total tackles, five tackles for loss, two interceptions, 12 passes defended, one forced fumble

2019 statistics: 35 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one interception, nine passes defended, one forced fumble

Player overview: After redshirting his first year on campus, Williams saw action in only two games as a redshirt freshman. His breakout season came as a sophomore, when he played in all 13 games, including five starts, and was a valuable contributor for the Badgers’ young, unproven secondary. Williams followed up his sophomore season by playing in all 14 games last year as a junior. He led the team in passes defended with nine and often covered the opposing team’s top wide receiver threat. Williams really came on at the end of last season and had a stellar game against Minnesota, holding their dynamic wide receiver duo of Tyler Johnson and Rashad Bateman in check, and securing a clutch interception.

The Texas native has loads of playing experience and his length and size separate him a bit from the rest of the other cornerbacks on the roster. He heads into the 2020 season as Wisconsin’s most seasoned defensive back and is someone who should once again see a ton of snaps in the fall.

Best case scenario for 2020: In his final season as a Badger, Williams solidifies himself as the team’s best overall cornerback. He once again leads the team in passes defended with 11 and improves on both his tackle and interception totals from 2019, finishing with 42 and three respectively. With the improvements he made in coverage during his season year and his 6-foot-1 frame, Williams catches the eye of some NFL draft scouts and gets multiple contract offers as an undrafted rookie.

Likely role on team in 2020: Williams will most likely open fall training camp as a starter at cornerback opposite Faion Hicks. Over the course of his career, Williams has proven to be a reliable cover corner on the outside and a solid tackler. I suspect he’ll play a a similar role in Jim Leonhard’s defense as he did in 2020.

The cornerback position can be unforgiving at times, and there’s no doubt Williams will be pushed by a motivated Deron Harrell, Rashad Wildgoose, talented redshirt sophomore Donte Burton, Semar Melvin and others for playing time. However, I’d expect Williams to start at cornerback and once again be a consistent, physical corner for Wisconsin’s defense.