Indianapolis safety Mykelti Williams commits to Notre Dame

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Mykelti Williams watched Sheldon Day develop into a star and captain on Notre Dame’s defensive line in the last three years.

Day helped show Williams — two kids from the same neighborhood and high school in Indianapolis — the path to playing college football. Following his senior season at Warren Central, Williams started to identify the colleges that could help him reach the same level.

It wasn’t until this week that Williams learned his path didn’t have to be different from Day’s at all.

Notre Dame offered Williams a scholarship on Thursday night. By Friday morning, Williams returned the favor by giving his verbal commitment to the Irish.

“Growing up I always wanted to be a part of Notre Dame,” Williams said on Friday. “Seeing Sheldon go there and be successful is kind of what made me pull the trigger too. It's basically a dream come true. You're home with your family, you get to play great football and get a great education. There's nothing like it.”

The possibility of an Irish offer became more of a reality in the past few weeks following conversations with defensive line coach Mike Elston and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. So when the offer was presented to Williams, he didn’t waste much time. He had a long conversation with Day on Thursday night.

“I really didn't want to wait. I just knew it in my heart what I wanted to do. Looking at the recruiting class coming in, I think we have a really special group."

The 6-foot, 196-pound Williams becomes verbal commitment No. 22 in Notre Dame’s 2015 recruiting class and the third safety. He joins Prentice McKinney and Nicco Fertitta at the position.

Notre Dame expanded its search for safeties in September and ended up not having to leave the state to add one. Williams, who was recently named the Indianapolis Star’s Super Team Player of the Year, did a little bit of everything as a senior. He recorded 74 tackles and seven interceptions on defense. He also played quarterback and running back at times and scored eight rushing touchdowns.

“He's a legitimate four-star safety,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He had a really good senior year. Williams has good, but not great speed. He's a two-time, first-team all-state player. He just makes plays. He has exceptional instincts, and he always seems to be around the ball. He's a really good catch for Notre Dame.”

The Irish have mined plenty of talent in Indiana this recruiting cycle. Indianapolis alone produced three Irish commitments: Williams, linebacker Asmar Bilal and defensive tackle Brandon Tiassum. Linebacker commit Josh Barajas also comes from inside the state’s borders.

“The other top guys from Indiana are special guys too,” Williams said. “They have a lot of talent. They're smart football players. I want to be around smart football players. I want to be around guys who know what they're doing and want to play at a high level and win national championships.”

Williams chose Notre Dame over offers from Minnesota, Louisville, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, among others. Rivals ranks Williams as a four-star recruit and the No. 16 safety in the class. 247Sports slates him as a three-star prospect and No. 22 at the position.

The Irish could return as few as three true safeties on next season’s roster. Early playing time could be had by Williams or any of the other safeties who sign with Notre Dame in February.

"I'm a leader on the field,” Williams said. “I'm a person who is going to bring great energy. I'm a person who is going to make plays when needed. I'm a person who is versatile. I can play zone. I can play man. Whatever they need me to do, I think I can do it at a high level."


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Below are highlights of Williams, via Hudl.

Indianapolis Warren Central safety Mykelti Williams verbally committed to Notre Dame's 2015 recruiting class on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)