Miami football recruiting spotlight: James Williams

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Miami football has a ton of recruits in its own backyard, and this week I got the chance to see a very talented recruit in American Heritage HS 2021 athlete James Williams.

“The U is back,” Williams told the Sun Sentinel after his Patriots got revenge from last season’s playoff loss to Miami Northwestern with a 12-3 win on Friday night. “That’s all I got to say: The U is back. You can see. We got great football players from South Florida going home, staying home and wanting to ball.”

While the Miami football team is on a two-week break due to a COVID-19 outbreak, James wants to see his Hurricanes finish the season strong so that the class, ranked No. 12 by Rivals and 13 by 247Sports, can build off of it.

“Keep that momentum going because it isn’t going to stop here,” Williams said. “We got more work to do, get back in the lab. A winning mentality. I don’t want to see ‘Miami isn’t back. Miami isn’t this.’ I want to see a winning mentality.”

This kid is very talented and him among others will help to bring The U back.

Williams is alongside great company in Miami’s 2021 recruiting class, which consists of fellow five-star prospect in Miami Palmetto defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, who recently got bumped up to the nation’s third-ranked prospect by 247. Other four-star defensive recruits among the 21 commitments in Miami’s class are Miami Northwestern safety Kamren Kinchens, Palmetto defensive tackle Savion Collins, Miami Columbus defensive end Jabari Ishmael and Melbourne’s Chase Smith, who is expected to play Miami’s safety-linebacker hybrid position of striker.

“I want to surround myself with great people,” Williams said. “I don’t want to be the only best player on the team. I want to see everybody on the field be great. “Greatness around me — just like the ’01 Miami. How many first-round draft picks [were on that team]? That’s what I’m trying to get it back to.”

This past high school matchup between the American Heritage Patriots and Miami Northwestern Bulls had a few star-studded Miami football commits.

Miami Northwestern also has Miami commits in receiver Romello Brinson and tight end Kahlil Brantley after Bulls cornerback Tim Burns Jr. recently decommitted from the Hurricanes.

Williams was very active on Friday night, and we saw a lot of different looks for him, moving from a traditional safety spot to sometimes lining up closer to the box. He was solid in coverage, in on several tackles, some for loss and had a fumble recovery on a strip sack by standout junior defensive end Marvin Jones Jr. Kinchens was playing single-high safety much of the night for Northwestern, and Heritage never really went after him up top.

The two safeties had very respectful words to say about each other after the game.

“Great player. Can’t wait to play with him,” Kinchens said of Williams. “He had a great game. Only thing I can do is look forward to playing with him.”

Williams on Kinchens: “He’s got great ball skills. He got what I don’t got, and I got what he doesn’t got, so now it’s coming together as one. Best safeties in the country.”

No doubt about it, south Florida has some talent to go around and if Miami can do its job and get these guys to a letter of intent, it would be major for the Hurricanes.

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