6’7″, 321 pounds
247 Sports — Three Stars, Not Ranked
Rivals — Three Stars, No. 55 Offensive Tackle, No. 6 Player in Washington
Scout — Three Stars, No. 64 Offensive Tackle
ESPN — Three Stars, No. 106 Offensive Tackle
It’s hard to believe that anyone who is 6’7″ and 321 pounds heading into his senior year of high school could be overlooked, but Walker Williams seemingly flew under the college recruiting radar until this spring. As coaches started to see tape of the small-school Washington player and could confirm that his size was legitimate, the offers started to roll in.
The Badgers were among the first schools to offer, joining a list that now includes Colorado, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Eastern Washington. But it was actually Williams who initiated conversations with Wisconsin coaches, who rarely recruit in the state of Washington. Williams told the Tacoma News Tribune he sent a highlight DVD to the university and that is what peaked interest from UW.
The offensive tackle visited Madison for the spring game this April and again for summer practices earlier this month. Williams, who was also reportedly being recruited heavily by 2012 Wisconsin quarterback commit Bart Houston, decided to end his recruitment after his most recent visit and verbally committed to the Badgers last week.
“Making the call to tell the Wisconsin coaches, it was a feeling of relief,” Williams told the Tacoma News Tribune. “They were really excited.
“I really enjoyed pretty much every aspect of the program, from the coaches to the players to the school. Coaches are down to earth and probably one of my favorite coaching staffs. I do like their style of play. I wish they passed a little bit more, but if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. If you can score 70 points running the ball 90 percent of the time, go do it.”
While Williams has not faced Washington’s top competition while playing for a smaller high school, he does train with some of the most highly regarded athletes in the state. He has joined fellow Washington high school football stars Joshua Garnett (Scout.com’s No. 1 guard prospect in the country) and Zach Banner (a highly touted offensive tackle prospect) at Competitive Edge, a training facility located near Tacoma. Williams, who has a martial arts background and won the state discuss title last year, told Northwest Sports Report the training has made him leaner, stronger, more explosive, and technically more sound.
Williams burst and technique are two areas ESPN scouts think the offensive lineman could improve on.
“Williams has the upper body playing strength to dominate defenders once he gets his hands on them. His explosion and ability to come off the ball low and hard will need to improve,” the site says. “(He) has the size with enough athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition.”
ESPN’s Greg Biggins adds that “depending on how his body and feet continue to develop,” Williams could shift from tackle to guard at the college level.
But Dirk Knudsen, of Northwest Prep Report, wouldn’t bet against Williams succeeding at whatever he puts his mind to.
“Where else is a school going to find a kid with this frame and work ethic and incredible grades to boot? ” wrote Knudsen.
On Jan. 3, 2012, Williams will take those attributes onto the field at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix. He was invited to the all-star game along with Houston and Diamond. Could the duo of Wisconsin commits help pull in another top recruit for Wisconsin in Diamond? Don’t be surprised if you hear Houston and Williams at least make their best pitches to the four-star Chicago offensive tackle over the next few months.