Film Study: Notre Dame S commit Mykelti Williams

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

S commit Mykelti Williams, 6-0, 196; Indianapolis Warren Central

The numbers: Williams made plays on both sides of the ball as a senior. He tallied 74 tackles and seven interceptions as a defensive back and scored eight rushing touchdowns at quarterback and running back. Williams finished as runner-up for the Indianapolis Star’s Mr. Football in leading Warren Central (9-3) to a strong season.

The rankings: Rivals – Four stars, No. 16 safety, No. 235 overall. 247Sports – Three stars, No. 22 safety.

FILM BREAKDOWN:

First impression: Williams is a well-rounded safety who wastes little time getting to the ball. Whether it’s coming up to stop the run or dropping back to cover a pass, Williams shows quick instincts in reading an offense. He brings great tackling and good athleticism to the back end of a secondary.

Strengths: Williams displays the traits of a solid tackler at safety. When he diagnoses a run, he makes his way downfield in a hurry and breaks down to make the play. He shows the willingness to make a tackle in a number of ways and isn’t afraid to bring a runner down by his legs. Williams uses sound footwork in coverage and can switch directions on command. His best asset may be his ability to make plays on the ball. He finds a way to intercept or deflect a pass on a regular basis. Williams, who also shows his playmaking skills on offense, is clearly comfortable with the ball in his hands.

He did what? (:51) With the opposing offense on the right hash, Williams starts in the middle of the field at safety.  With the quarterback staring down his receiver on the right, Williams backpedals his way to the hash and is able to intercept the pass outside the numbers … (3:05) Williams embarrasses a receiver who tried to block him by throwing him to the ground. He quickly reacts and tackles the ball carrier in short order … (3:47) On a fourth-and-short, Williams splits the offensive line immediately at the snap, shoots through a gap and tackles the running back as soon as he receives the handoff for a big loss … (5:44) Williams takes the ball at quarterback and picks his way through some small gaps on the left side. He breaks through the opposing defense, makes Irish linebacker commit Asmar Bilal miss a tackle, and runs for a 36-yard touchdown.

Competition level: Williams played in the highest class and toughest conference in Indiana as a senior. His season included two games (one win, one loss) against state-champion Ben Davis and a non-conference game against Cincinnati powerhouse St. Xavier. Williams comes from the same program that produced Irish defensive tackle Sheldon Day. The Warriors finished the season ranked No. 3 in the state according to MaxPreps.

Left to prove: At just 6-foot, Williams lacks the height of most elite safeties. He will be tested against bigger wide receivers making catches on deep throws. Williams’ speed will also be challenged in college. He will need to keep receivers in front of him and not allow the big plays that have crippled Notre Dame at times this season. Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has shown a predilection for blitzing his safeties at times, so Williams will likely be asked to develop that skill.

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Warren Central's Mykelti Williams sprints into the end zone for a touchdown ahead of Ben Davis defensive back Chris Parish in the first half of the IHSAA Regional held at Ben Davis High School on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Williams verbally committed to Notre Dame on Dec. 19, 2014. (Photo courtesy Matt Detrich/INDIANAPOLIS STAR)