Despite what USA Today’s high school sports section may say, Matt Rhule is currently recruiting at a very high level right now. The 2018 class, his first in Waco, is stocked with playmakers, and will provide immediate depth, along with a number of players that could start immediately. Yesterday, Rhule added yet another potential freshman contributor, when Crosby running back Craig Williams announced his decision to play his college football roughly three hours from his hometown. Williams is certainly “Baylor quality”, and may be the most likely player in this current class, outside of receiver Joshua Fleeks to see the field as a freshman at Baylor.
‼️ C O M M I T T E D ‼️ pic.twitter.com/6c9paWdY4S
— Craig Williams2️⃣1️⃣ (@_Sqwirl) August 11, 2017
THE WILLIAMS FILE
Williams is the 19th commit in Baylor’s 2018 class, which is now tied for the largest in the conference, equal with Texas Tech, and just ahead of Oklahoma State’s 18 man group. He’s the second running back, along with Stanley Hackett, though the two players couldn’t be more different in terms of play style and skill-set. Williams is the 19th player in the class from Texas, and it’s entirely fair to assume that everyone in Baylor’s class could hail from within the Bears’ home state. He’s the seventh Baylor recruit from the Houston area.
Williams picked Baylor over Arizona State, Auburn, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Washington State, Kentucky, Oregon, TCU, Texas, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas Tech and Utah. Williams received an offer from Baylor just a few weeks after Matt Rhule was hired away from Temple, and since that offer was extended, Baylor has been in the lead for Williams’ talents. He visited Waco on July 29th, and since then, his ultimate commitment to Baylor was only accompanied with one question: when will he pull the trigger?
On the field, as I said, Williams is a completely different running back in comparison with his classmate, Stanley Hackett, who committed back in May. I had this to say about his play style:
Hackett is heavily dependent on his athleticism. At his size, it’s pretty easy for him to tear through high school defenses, though he’ll need to work on a few technical things in Waco before he’s ready to tear through college and pro defenses. He’s an upright runner, which is fine, but he really needs to work on his leverage. He doesn’t have the weight to be a bruiser, and prefers to make space with his ability to make guys miss. He’s elusive, and obvious has the raw potential, he’ll just need to work on learning the position a little more in Waco. His ceiling comparison is a throwback, Eric Dickerson.
While the Dickerson comparison may have been a bit overzealous (it’s not my job to compare teens to players no one has ever heard of), a LeVeon Bell comparison may not be far off in terms of potential. When it comes to Williams, his skills compliment Hackett’s perfectly. While Hackett will be more of an every down back, Williams is capable of spreading out the defense, as a running back, H-back, or slot receiver.
Williams runs a stunning 4.36 40 time, and dominates on the outside, in open space (hence the nickname Sqwirl) because of his speed and shiftiness. He’s not going to run guys over, but if you can get him in space, he’s a threat to score every single time. He’s obviously not the kind of guy you want running between the tackles, but the pairing of him and Hackett almost makes too much sense. Baylor fans could be in for a treat of a running attack in a couple of years. His ceiling comparison is Curtis Samuel.