Texas Football: Breaking down 5 immediate impact 2023 early signees

Colton Vasek, Texas football
Colton Vasek, Texas football /
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Derek Williams, S

A major win on the recruiting trail for the Longhorns 2023 class on signing day was being able to sign the Louisiana five-star safety Williams.

Heading into signing day, it looked like Williams was the least certain among the Longhorns commits in terms of the probability that he would sign on the dotted line. It wasn’t all that long ago that Williams said he wanted to take all of his official visits before signing.

Safeties coach Blake Gideon and cornerbacks coach Terry Joseph got a big addition to the secondary with a top-tier SEC-caliber safety in Williams. Texas was able to go into Louisiana and pry the top-ranked player in the state away from the likes of the LSU Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, and Alabama Crimson Tide, among many other schools.

Texas is getting an immediate difference maker in Williams that will compete for starting reps in the secondary in fall camp next year. Williams probably isn’t going to be an early enrollee. But he’ll still be tossed into a bright spotlight once he arrives on campus during the summer.

The 6-foot-2 and 190-pound Williams is a hard-hitting safety with a ton of range. He likely projects as a field safety at Texas. But his scheme versatility will allow him to play at a number of different positions in PK’s secondary.

Williams has the downhill speed and hard-hitting nature in his game to be used in the box as a run defender from the safety position or rushing the passer from the boundary or the box.

The biggest strength in Williams’ game, though, is going to be his range in pass coverage. He covers the deep ball well while being able to hold his own in one-on-one coverage. Williams has excellent ball skills and can lay the wood to separate receivers from the ball, which makes him even scarier in the defensive backfield.

Among the signees in the Longhorns 2023 class that I bet will be in a spot to start right away, Williams definitely fits the bill.