Film Study: Notre Dame RB signee Dexter Williams

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

RB commit Dexter Williams, 6-0, 195; Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange

The numbers: Williams rushed for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. West Orange (11-1) lost its only game in the FHSAA Class 8-A regional semifinals when Williams suffered a broken foot. He's expected to be full-go in the summer.

The rankings: Rivals – Four stars, No. 12 RB, No. 120 overall. 247Sports – Four stars, No. 14 RB, No. 139 overall.

FILM BREAKDOWN

First impression: Williams is a home run threat out of the backfield. A veteran of running out of spread formations, Williams is a natural fit for Notre Dame’s offense. He could see carries as a freshman behind Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant.

Strengths: Williams accelerates through holes and quickly turns average plays into long runs. He can take it between the tackles and also around the edges. Good vision. He senses the creases in the defense and exposes them by getting upfield. Williams possesses the speed to run away from defenders as he breaks into the secondary. Running at the heart of a defense, Williams doesn’t shy away from contact and always seems to be falling forward.

He did what? (:55) Williams shows his vision and quickness on a 20-yard touchdown run. He starts left and cuts back to the middle when he senses the hole opening. He attacks it so quickly that he’s able to get past the linebackers and split the safeties without being touched … (1:29) Williams has to hurry around the right side to avoid a backside blitz. He speeds around the corner and down the sideline for a touchdown that could have ended in a loss of yards … (1:52) Two defenders greet Williams shortly after he takes the handoff in the backfield. He stops, absorbs the hits, and spins off both defenders to stay upright. Williams then takes off to the left and runs around a safety on his way to the end zone.

Competition level: West Orange plays in the highest classification in the talent-soaked state of Florida. Its schedule is comprised of teams in the Orlando area with a wide range of ability. Williams outdueled Florida State running back Jacques Patrick and Timber Creek and split a pair of games with Auburn running back commit Chandler Cox and Apopka. Apopka, which produced former Notre Dame cornerback Lo Wood, ended up winning the state championship.

Left to prove: Williams runs so hard at times that he doesn’t have complete control of himself. At times, Williams stumbles when he’s leaning forward or anticipating contact that doesn’t come. Better control and balance will make Williams an improved running back. He will need it to absorb the hits from college defenders and break tackles. Williams is not seen making plays in the passing game in his film. He could be a mismatch with linebackers if he proves he has sure hands.

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Running back Dexter Williams signed with Notre Dame on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Orlando Sentinel)