Notre Dame in time crunch with top DE Jordan Williams

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Notre Dame may have run out of time with Jordan Williams.

The four-star defensive end has already identified five leaders in his recruitment and plans to announce his commitment on Aug. 6. But the Irish haven’t given up on Williams quite yet.

Head coach Brian Kelly reached out to Williams on Twitter before The Opening Finals to wish him luck competing against some of the best high school linemen in the country.

“Even though they weren’t one of my top schools, I definitely have been in contact with them,” Williams said. “If I do decide to trim my list, I know Notre Dame is a school I definitely want to put in there. It’s just with my timetable I have, pushing it up to August 6, I just didn’t have time to visit out there.”

Any time crunch for Williams is self-imposed. Even though he’s one of the top defensive end recruits in the country, he said he wants to make a decision to prevent him from missing out on potential options if he waits too long.

“I’m seeing a lot of guys at my position committing to schools. I don’t want to be left,” Williams said. “When I commit, I want to go to the school I want to go to — not because the school I want to go to has a spot filled up. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of guys committing like Zachary Carter (Florida) and Robert Beal (Georgia). More guys are going to start committing soon.”

That leaves five schools left in position to take advantage of an early decision by Williams: Clemson, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.

Because Williams remains interested in the Irish, the possibility remains that he makes a visit to Notre Dame after committing elsewhere. But the coaching staff that lands Williams might not want him to do continue visiting other schools.

“I’m not sure how the rule works for the schools,” Williams said. “I don’t know if they’ll shut down all visits or anything like that.”

Rivals ranks Williams, a 6-5, 260-pound prospect, as the No. 5 strongside defensive end in the 2017 class. 247Sports slates him No. 6 at weakside defensive end. His performance at The Opening Finals earned him a spot on the Final 5 team as one of the top five defensive linemen at the camp.

Notre Dame tight ends coach Scott Booker has led the Irish recruitment of Williams out of Virginia Beach (Va.) Frank W. Cox. Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder have also been in touch with Williams.

“The school really sells itself. Notre Dame’s a beautiful campus with phenomenal academics and they’re actually a great football program,” Williams said. “I definitely like what I’ve seen in being able to talk to coach VanGorder, coach Gilmore and coach Booker. It definitely puts a lot of things in perspective.”

“I just needed to visit and then I wanted to talk academics too because my family is huge on academics as well. It’s just the little things I’m really missing that would be important for me to decide if I wanted to go to Notre Dame.”


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Top 2017 defensive end Jordan Williams will make a college commitment on Aug. 6 (photo courtesy Rivals).