College Football Recruiting 2020: Previewing Mario Williams, 4-Star Commitments

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2020

Mario Williams
Mario WilliamsCredit: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Although the NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period through the end of June, commitments from college football's class of 2021 prospects are hardly slowing down.

Highlighted by wide receiver Mario Williamsa top-40 talent nationallya quartet of 4-star players will reveal their non-binding pledge Friday. The others are linebacker Clayton Smith, safety Kaine Williams and linebacker Collin Oliver.

And it appears the Sooner State is nearing an exciting day.

Mario Williams is considered the No. 4 receiver and No. 40 overall player. He has Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma as finalists, but OU stands out on the 247Sports Crystal Ball. All 14 predictions have pegged him to the Sooners.

"A source said that Williams spoke with Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley on Tuesday, and things 'couldn't have gone better,'" per Brandon Drumm of 247Sports.

In three high school seasons, the Plant City, Florida, wideout has caught 120 passes for 2,448 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Oklahoma might not be finished there, though.

Smith is a 6'4", 220-pounder from Texarkana, Texas. Ranked eighth at his position and No. 107 overall, the outside linebacker has eight Crystal Ball projectionsand they all read Oklahoma.

"Everything I heard was over a month ago, and that was when things flipped a bit from Texas to OU," a source told Drumm. "[Defensive end and outside linebackers coach] Jamar Cain was really good with him and built a great relationship with Clayton."

Smith recently unveiled a top six that includes Florida State, LSU, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

Last year, Smithwho is best labeled an edge-rusherracked up 94 tackles with 40 for loss and 20 sacks. He forced eight fumbles and recovered three, also catching six touchdowns on offense.

It's early, yes. Still, the Sooners currently have just a handful of commits and are ranked No. 48 nationally. Williams and Smith would immediately become key prospects in the class as the powerhouse aims to continue its Big 12 dominance.

Let's shift to the next program on the overall list: Alabama.

Yes, this is a unique moment. Right now, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have landed only four commitments and are hidden at 49th in the team rankings. But there's no doubt that will eventually change in a dramatic way.

Kaine Williams would be a good start.

The 6'2", 205-pound defender from the New Orleans area is rated the fifth-best safety and No. 141 prospect in the cycle. All eight of his predictions on the Crystal Ball favor Alabama ahead of finalists LSU and Texas A&M.

Kaine ”K5IVE” Williams ☥ @kwilliams5_

Final three ya dig ‼️ Edit: @Hayesfawcett3 https://t.co/uV1yWRCgk6

"It's recruiting so we never call a kid a lock or a done deal," Tim Watts of 247Sports said, "but sources with knowledge of the situation on all sides involved feel the Tide is trending."

Williams attended a Junior Day in Tuscaloosa right before the recruiting pause and nationwide stoppage.

The fourth and final 4-star scheduled to commit Friday is Oliver, an inside linebacker who is the fourth-rated player in Oklahoma.

But Riley and the Sooners can't have all the fun, right?

On the Crystal Ball, all nine predictions show Oklahoma State for Oliver. He would be the first 4-star commit for the Pokes in what is currently the nation's No. 73 class.

In early April, he announced a final eight of Arkansas, Iowa State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas Tech and Utah. He recently said Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, TCU and Utah are standing out, per Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

Oliver collected 30 tackles with two sacks last season but only made six appearances because of injuries.


All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.