UCLA Football: Bruins flip 3-star DB Rayshad Williams from Vanderbilt

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Defensive back Fabian Moreau
PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Defensive back Fabian Moreau /

In a bit of a shocker the UCLA Football Bruins steal another talented recruit from under the nose of the Vanderbilt Commodores. This one literally stands head and shoulders above the rest.

If the UCLA Football program is planning to create a rivalry with Vanderbilt they’re well on their way. A few days ago the Bruins stole JUCO LB prospect Tyree Thompson from the Commodores and this morning three star DB Rayshad Williams surprised everyone by picking the Bruins over his home state Vanderbilt Commodores.

Williams isn’t just your average defensive back. Measuring in at six-foot-four and 185 pounds he matches up with the big bodied receivers that are en vogue right now in the game of football. Williams was a corner in high school and while he has the frame to turn into a big hitting safety like Kam Chancellor, he will get his first shot at the CB position.

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Typically when you see a corner with his frame they have difficulty flipping their hips smoothly in coverage and occasionally they’ll shy away from contact with their thinner frames. Not the case at all with Williams. Not only is he a willing tackler in coverage and against the run, he relishes it. He will throw his shoulder into any ball carrier for a big hit and is a sure tackler. In coverage he shows off loose hips and technically advanced footwork and technique. Clearly someone has been getting some very quality coaching.

He’s long legged but has quick feet and can hang with receivers in man coverage with impressive speed. Williams will jam receivers on the line and beat them up as they attempt to get out into their routes either taking them out of the play completely or throwing off the timing and basically killing the play before it can begin. Oh and forget those jump balls in the redzone. Williams is as big as your tallest receiver and is just as likely to come down with it as a receiver is.

In zone coverage Williams does a solid job of recognizing his responsibilities but trusts his eyes in breaking on the ball. When he sees it, he will go and he will arrive in a big way. He also sheds blocks well and you almost have to get a TE out there on him if you want your WR screens to work.

In time Williams may move to safety and with his coverage skills the UCLA Football defense would have a valuable skillset in their toolbox. He’s fast and fluid enough for WRs and physical enough to stick with TEs if he adds another 15 pounds to his frame.

Next: UCLA Football: The defensive line is stacked as Otito Ogbonnia commits

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