Who is the state’s hottest college football prospect? Easy

  • RELATED: Both Georgia Tech and UGA take a glance at Chris Williamson (click here)
  • UPDATE: Williamson was offered by Notre Dame shortly after this blog was published.

With less than a month away for national signing day, who is the state’s hottest college football prospect?

It appears to be Chris Williamson, a little-known cornerback from Gainesville High School who has become an overnight sensation in recruiting circles. The 3-star picked up offers from Florida, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Vanderbilt over the last two days.

With the majority of the state’s elite prospects already committed to colleges (42 of the top 50), there’s only few remaining seniors that are generating the majority of attention from the big colleges. Williamson is rated as the state’s No. 85 overall prospect.

“It’s exciting, and I’m handling the best way I can,” Williamson told the AJC on Friday. “It’s definitely been hectic, but it’s a blessing. It feels good to be in this situation.”

6-1 DB Chris Williamson of Gainesville (247sports)

6-1 DB Chris Williamson of Gainesville (247sports)

Why did things explode all of sudden with Williamson? It has to do with film. He was bothered by a hip injury during his junior season, and didn’t really have much to show to the scouts. However, Williamson got healthy and put up All-State stats as a senior: 52 catches for 1,061 yards and 14 touchdowns at receiver, while making 65 tackles and 12 pass breakups at cornerback.

His newly released senior film has been a megahit with colleges:

“We knew he had a great year, but he just kind of came on the screen with the big schools,” Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said. “I got a friend of mine who is the new defensive coordinator at Florida (Geoff Collins). I coached him in high school (at Rockdale County). And he called me and said, ‘ Look, I’m going to offer Chris.’ I’m almost staggering. We went from a few smaller D1 schools to now of one of the big dogs. I’m thinking ‘wow.’ I’m so happy for Chris because I think he’s a great player. It’s just amazing with everything that has happened over the last two months. And who knows what else may happen over the next few weeks?”

Miller, whose former players include Alabama quarterback Blake Sims and Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson, couldn’t explain the hotness factor with Williamson.

“I don’t know why everything is happening now,” he said. “You tell me why college coaches think what they think sometimes. I love them all but they’re about as fickle as we are as high school coaches sometimes. What impresses one coach doesn’t impress another.

“I think once you get those first one or two offers from big-time schools, all the rest of say ‘What are we missing?’ Then they start looking at the Hudl films and other stuff. All of sudden, it’s like ‘If so and so has offered, we definitely can’t let them out-offer us.’ If I could figure all of this out, I would sure write a book about it.

Recruiting is not rocket science in all areas, though. When the scouts do get around to watching the film, one thing quickly jumps out.

“They love his size as a cornerback,” Miller said. “You look at most college these days, and they’ve got 5-foot-8 or 5-9 corners — and they’re playing against 6-5 receivers.

“The fact is that he’s 6-1 and 190 pounds. He can handle his own against those big receivers. The colleges are just looking for bigger corners who can run. Chris can do all of those things. Plus, Chis has already taken care of his academics. They don’t have to wait for him to pass a test score.

“Cornerbacks like him are very lucrative.”

Williamson is thrilled by Florida’s courtship, and is tentatively scheduled to take an official visit with the Gators on Jan. 30.

“That was a huge offer,” he said. “That was one I had been waiting for. That’s a huge offer because it’s an SEC school. That’s good that those guys think I can play because I feel like the SEC is the best conference.”

Williamson will take a recruiting trip to UNC on Jan. 16, and will likely go to Virginia Tech or Kentucky the next week. There’s also a slim possibility he could visit UGA that week, although he hasn’t talked directly with the Bulldogs (one of his coaches has).

Which school could offer next? Williamson said his coaches have been in touch with Ohio State, Florida State, Oregon, Alabama and Baylor.

When asked if there were any other schools he would like to be evaluated by for scholarship consideration, Williamson said, “Baylor, Ohio State and Oregon. I guess those three really stand out to me.”

  • Editor’s note: It will be interesting to see if the same type of phenomenon happens with Brad Stewart, the senior WR/DB out of Savannah. I thought the 6-1, 190-pounder was the best player out of 40+ D1 prospects at the state championship weekend at the Georgia. His new film is just out. And all it takes is a few big offers to get the ball rolling. CLICK HERE.

Take a look at Williamson’s film and let us know what you think …




Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com


— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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