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McKewon: Huskers' recruiting inroads to Georgia pay off again with Malik Williams

McKewon: Huskers' recruiting inroads to Georgia pay off again with Malik Williams


Nebraska received a commitment Tuesday from Buford (Ga.) defensive back Malik Williams. Three takes on the decision of the 6-foot, 180-pound defender:

1. Another prospect from The Peach State: Nebraska’s 10th since the arrival of Scott Frost. (An 11th, Breon Dixon, transferred in from Ole Miss but left after one season.) NU has made recruiting in SEC territory a priority, particularly in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Williams also becomes the second player in the 2021 class from Buford High School — following running back Gabe Ervin — and the third Georgian along with Ervin and wide receiver Shawn Hardy.

The Bo Pelini era recruited just four players from Georgia — Aaron Williams, Alfonzo Dennard, Imani Cross and AJ Bush — while Mike Riley’s coaches landed just Mohamed Barry. (Williams was part of Riley's 2015 class but was recruited by Pelini.)

According to the 247Sports composite, Williams is ranked as the No. 122 player in Georgia. Here are the state rankings of the other nine Georgians recruited by Frost:


Hardy: 57th

Ervin: 65th


Marquis Black: 84th


Ronald Thompkins: 50th

Myles Farmer: 67th

Quinton Newsome: 70th

Dedrick Mills: 71st (in 2016)


Caleb Tannor: 37th

Katerian Legrone: 110th

2. Nebraska puts a stake in the ground at a loaded high school program: Located in northeast Georgia, roughly 40 miles from Atlanta and Athens, Buford generally sends at least five — and sometimes double-digit — players to major college football each cycle. In addition to the two future Huskers in the 2021 class, Buford has players headed Florida Atlantic, Central Florida and Army. In the 2019 class, Buford sent eight players to Power Five programs.

NU has already offered several Buford players in the 2022 class, many of whom are defensive backs. Names to watch a year from now include Ryland Gandy, Malik Spencer, Isaiah Bond and Jake Pope.

3. Williams is a little thicker than some of NU’s recent defensive back recruits and could play corner or safety: Husker defensive backs coach Travis Fisher prefers versatility, and Williams — whose highlights show a lot of “off man” coverage — fits the bill. He’s a sound player who tackles well and gets his hands and body involved in coverage without getting too physical. He may be more explosive than his film suggests, given that he broke his school’s long jump record as a junior with a leap of 23 feet, 2 inches. For context, former Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, a freak athlete, leaped 23-2.5 his junior year.

Omaha World-Herald: Big Red

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