Freddie Roach has been making waves on the recruiting trail since taking over for Chris Kiffin in April. Now, he’s breaking hearts.
In just his second year on the job, he’s already getting in on the MERRY FLIPMAS ACTION. And now Roach has pulled the early signing day shocker, flipping defensive end James Williams from Mississippi State to Ole Miss today.
Williams, a three-star strong-side defensive end from Jackson, Miss., had been committed to Dan Mullen, but since his departure that pledge has since wavered and has now detached. New coach Joe Moorhead did all he could, but Roach and Matt Luke were able to convince him otherwise.
He held offers from Alabama, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tennessee, and had even generated some interest from Michigan and Jim Harbaugh. But, in the end, he decided to join the #MississippiMade movement and squad up with the Landsharks.
Williams joins fellow defensive linemen signees Quentin Bivens, K.D. Hill, and Jalen Cunningham in this year’s class who will be looking to step right in for the departing Garrald McDowell and Breeland Speaks, a fellow Callaway product.
How does he fit in?
The 6’5, 285-pounder is the ideal specimen that you want in the Southeastern Conference. He has the height and the weight you want from a high schooler to be able to step into a Power 5 weightroom and be molded into a freshman All-American without skipping a beat. The No. 6 player in the Magnolia State had 154(!) tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 10 passes defended, and one forced fumble at Callaway High School.
He reminds me of former Rebel Kentrell Lockett because of his length. But as far as his style, he reminds me of Speaks. Like Kentrell and Speaks, James is a long prospect that is very violent at the line of scrimmage and a versatile athlete with a unique skill set. He has the bulk to play on the interior like Speaks, and the athleticism to play on the exterior like Lockett did.
As we mentioned above, he already possesses excellent size and a dynamic frame that can be molded into an All-SEC performer. Despite some raw ability and technique, he has plenty power and is a handful at the point of attack. He could develop into a 5-technique lineman who will disrupt and stir shit up at the first level and free up linebackers.
The 451st overall player in the country is going to be a big-time player in the red and blue. He is a stout defensive lineman who still has his best football ahead of him. With some fine-tuning and some growth, the 19th ranked strong-side defensive end will be a Landshark to fear for opposing teams. HUGE get for Roach and McGriff.