Top pass-rushers are at a premium at essentially every level of football, and another one is now off the market after 4-star defensive end Andrew Williams officially committed to play for Auburn, according to AuburnSports.com.
Four-star DE Andrew Williams commits to #Auburn.— AuburnSports.com (@AuburnRivals) February 5, 2014
Williams is listed as the No. 12 player in the nation at his position, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and the No. 231 player overall in the class of 2014. He is a product of Eagle's Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga., where he was a dominant force, to say the least.
Getting to the quarterback is something that Williams is already quite comfortable doing. In 2012, he sacked opposing signal-callers 18 times while also racking up 28 tackles for loss, which suggests that Williams can develop into a dominant all-around end at the collegiate level.
What level will Williams reach in the collegiate ranks?
Williams is obviously young, but he already has a man's body at 6'4" and 247 pounds. In fact, 247Sports rates Williams' body frame as his best attribute with a rating of nine out of 10.
Defensive ends often have to spend at least a year or two growing into their bodies when they get into college, but Williams already seems to have that part of the equation figured out. He can probably stand to add a few pounds of muscle to his frame, but there isn't much need to compromise his speed off the edge.
Williams' production dropped off a bit in the sack department in 2013, but that is to be expected considering the fact that the opposition began keying in on him. Even so, he had a great year and was named the Georgia Class A Defensive Player of the Year, according to Gabriel Stovall of the Henry Daily Herald.
Williams has been heavily recruited throughout the process by multiple top programs. According to 247Sports, Georgia, Clemson, Auburn and Alabama were among the schools in hot pursuit of him.
It seemed as though Williams might have offered a hint in terms of the direction in which he was leaning when he tweeted about Auburn prior to its BCS National Championship Game against Florida State.
The Tigers fell short as Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston threw a touchdown pass with just seconds remaining to put the Seminoles on top for good. Even so, it's clear that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn left a positive impression on Williams.
There are no guarantees when it comes to prospects like Williams, but he seemingly has all of the tools necessary to be a stud in the college ranks and perhaps even the NFL one day. It's somewhat surprising that he remained available for as long as he did, but Williams obviously had plenty of options to sift through.
One thing that Williams figures to learn quickly is that natural ability alone won't be enough to excel in major college football. The offensive linemen will be so much better than anything he encountered in high school, and the offensive game plans will be more sophisticated as well, which will make life more difficult for him.
Williams has continued to improve and make big strides over the past few years, though, so all signs point to him realizing his promise as a college football player.
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