Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
Countdown to Kickoff: #59 – Jaylin Williams
Weight: 170 pounds
Hometown: Germantown, Tennesseee
Class/Position: Freshman/Defensive Back
Welcome to another edition of the Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kickoff! We are under two months remaining until the 2018 season gets underway and today’s edition of the countdown focuses on one of the top-rated players in IU’s exciting 2018 recruiting class: Jaylin Williams.
Since taking over the defense in 2016, Tom Allen and Mark Hagen have invested a lot of time and resources in recruiting and upgrading the secondary talent in Bloomington. As a result, IU has beaten out some really good football programs to bring in well-regarded athletes that have formed what many think is the most talented group of cornerbacks and safeties IU has had in more than 30 years. One of the most recent additions to this group is the top-rated cornerback in the 2017 class from Tennessee, Jaylin Williams.
Williams, a 5-foot-11 speed merchant from Germantown High School, was committed to Ole Miss until July of 2017. That’s when the consequences of a scandal broke in Oxford and head coach Hugh Freeze was forced to step down in disgrace. Williams could have stayed with the Rebels but he opted to reopen his recruitment and on July 30, he visited Bloomington. Shortly after that visit, Williams announced that he was going to be a Hoosier. Williams was a coveted prospect, choosing IU over Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington State and several others.
His commitment prompted social media posts from several people that had seen Williams play. They wrote things like, “I’ve covered prep football for nearly 40 years, Indiana is getting one of the top five playmakers I’ve ever seen.” (Herb Smith) His high school football coach, Chris Smith, said, “I don’t care about the stars they rate, Indiana is getting one heck of a football player.”
His playmaking ability and speed had him playing both sides of the ball at Germantown High School and he excelled. In his junior season, he made 62 tackles and gave up a grand total of three catches to the opposition all year. He also managed to score ten touchdowns and rack up 856 yards on just 36 receptions. Williams is considered to have elite speed and it would not be a surprise to see him tried on special teams as a punt returner. Depending on the health of J-Shun Harris throughout the 2018 season, we could see this as early as this season. His playing time this season at defensive back is to be determined as IU is pretty well stocked. A-Shon Riggins and Andre Brown appear to have the inside track on starting while Raheem Layne and LaDamion Hunt look like the top two behind them. However, that’s a fluid situation and I believe Williams has a real chance to break into that two-deep relatively early in his IU career. He’s one of my favorite recruits in this 2018 class and I think he has the ability to be a star defensive back for the Hoosiers.
The Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kickoff continues each and every day so be sure to check back often for the latest profile piece!