The Irish finally landed an offensive skill player in the 2019 class when jitterbug back Kyren Williams committed to Notre Dame at his high school today. Michigan hard over the last couple of months; but the 5’10”, 200-pound Missourian has had the Irish in front ever since he was offered and didn’t waver. In fact he was slated to take an official visit to Michigan this weekend but cancelled it after his official to Notre Dame last weekend; as you might imagine, everyone pretty much saw the writing on the wall at that point.
Speaking of the Skunkbears… Kyren Williams is the 11th 2019 commit for Notre Dame who had a Michigan offer, joining Quinn Carroll, John Olmstead, Zeke Correll, Andrew Kristofic, NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Howard Cross, Jacob Lacey, Osita Ekwonu, Litchfield Ajavon, and Kyle Hamilton. I’m not sure where they each fall on Michigan’s board but Michigan definitely wanted all of them. How many Michigan commits have Notre Dame offers, you ask? Three: SDE Chris Hinton, QB Cade McNamara, and OG Nolan Rumler. They’re all good players, but I’d still say that’s a pretty resounding TKO for Notre Dame.
Recruiting Service Rankings
247 Composite — 3 star (0.8851 rating), #404 overall, #23 RB, #9 in MO
247 Sports — 3 star (89 rating), #343 overall, #19 RB, #8 in MO
Rivals — 3 star (5.7 rating), NR overall, #34 RB, #11 in MO
ESPN — 4 star (80 rating), NR overall, #28 RB, #8 in MO
In addition to Notre Dame and Michigan, Kyren Williams holds offers from Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Stanford, and Wisconsin, among others.
I’ve seen a lot of casual comparisons to Theo Riddick; while projecting him to Riddick’s career is just a tad premature, I can see it. Williams has exceptional change of direction, plus receiving ability, good balance, and surprising toughness. I don’t think his straight line speed is going to scare anyone, although he shows some flashes that hint he could improve there (see the 1:18 mark for an example). He was about 190 pounds in-season last year and reportedly has added ten “good” pounds; he could probably stand to add another ten to be an every-down guy.
I included the second video, from the Rivals Chicago camp, because it highlights the postseason camp circuit, where he started to garner some more attention. He looked decent in the cat and mouse drills, maybe a little too stutter-steppy but those drills are so far away from live game situations that I don’t pay much attention to them. What’s really notable is that in one-on-one receiving drills he was virtually uncoverable on all route depths; the one guy who did stay on him only did because he interfered badly, and Williams caught both balls anyway.
By the time Kyren Williams gets to campus, Dexter Williams will have exhausted his eligibility. However, Tony Jones, Jafar Armstrong, Jahmir Smith, and C’Bo Flemister will remain, and all will have multiple years of eligibility left. That makes it very hard to say with any confidence that Williams will get serious run in his first couple of years. I do think he has the potential to be a regular front-line contributor by his junior season, though, most likely as a very effective complement to a power back.
Welcome to the Irish family, Kyren!