Talking With Jhonny Williams

Submitted by Brandon Brown on November 22nd, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Missing out on potentially the #1 player in the country is never good but luckily for the Michigan faithful the coaching staff got back up and back on the recruiting trail. I’m sure the coaches felt like they took one on the chin when Da’Shawn Hand decided to commit to Alabama, but they wasted no time in trying to find an adequate replacement.

Jhonathon Williams

Less than an hour after Hand announced, the coaches extended an offer to Jhonny Williams. Williams is currently committed to Missouri but has been getting a lot of attention on the recruiting trail lately, most notably from Notre Dame and the in-state Wolverines. Williams hails from the tiny village of Berrien Springs in southwest Michigan, the village itself covers just over one square mile. The small school population and low level competition made for a late start in the recruiting game for Williams but on film his size, speed, and athleticism are very apparent. In his high school games and at 6’6” and 230 lbs. Williams stands out like a green hat with an orange bill.

Jhonny seems like a very well-rounded kid and that sentiment was easy to identify the first time I contacted him as he responded with a very business-like but polite text that read, “I’m not ready to comment on the recent events. I’ll let you know my thoughts when I gather them. I need time. Thank you.” I was able to catch up with him Thursday evening and he was much more open this time around.

What exactly is going on in your mind now that you have a Michigan offer? Well, I’m committed to Mizzou, but it was definitely an exciting thing to have that happen.

How seriously are you going to look into Michigan? Are you planning to take a visit? There’s a chance I will visit for the Ohio State game but nothing is scheduled yet.

I’ve read in some other places that a commitment flip is possible since you now have the in-state Wolverine offer. Did you grow up a Wolverine fan and is there any truth to that? (Laughs) I haven’t completely thought about that yet. I never really had a favorite football team growing up. I don’t really want to go into where I was born and raised but it wasn’t in Michigan anyways.

I was also able to find out that the coaches really haven’t been very aggressive toward Williams. He says that the coaches haven’t really called him much at all since the offer. He plans to make a decision by this time next week on whether he will visit for the Ohio State game or not (obviously since the game is next Saturday) and I think that decision will say a lot about how serious his interest in Michigan is. I will try to check in with him again in a few days to see if he has indeed made that decision.



November 22nd, 2013 at 10:01 AM ^

Any chance that the coaching staff tries to rekindle interest with Garrett Dickerson? I know the last time he was on the radar he had a top three of NW, Stanford and M. He seemed pretty talented (and versatile as a potential TE too) and I think he had visited as well. 


November 22nd, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

To gauge interest. With Michigan's policy on commits taking visits elsewhere, it would be mighty hypocritical to jump all over a commited kid. 

The thought process probably went something like, hey we like this in-state kid, but he is commited to Missouri, let's shoot him an offer, and see where he stands. If he doesn't jump at the offer, no big deal. 


November 22nd, 2013 at 10:33 AM ^

they've contacted (and offered?) a Minnesota commit who seems to have no interest whatsoever in Michigan and a Mizzou commit who seems to have no apparent interest in Michigan either.

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it be more fruitful to contact talented kids who were sincerely interested in Michigan but not offered because Hand was regarded as the superior talent?

Maybe there aren't any who fit that description.


November 22nd, 2013 at 1:42 PM ^

I would guess you answered it yourself, I don't know if there are many interested players around. Odds are they'll have to double down for DE in 2015. 

I wouldn't be surprised to see someone like Kalen Lucien-Smith (sp? I think that's close) get offered soonish.


And this just made me realize, Michigan is now also officially out of it for Tim Settle. We were expected to be a contender with Hand; no Hand, no Tim.


November 22nd, 2013 at 12:12 PM ^

If you want to get a kid to commit to Michigan's program, I would keep them away from the OSU game.  Not sure that game is going to be a good selling point.   How about a visit for bowl practice.

I dumped the Dope

November 22nd, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

This is sort of a strange place for us.  Typically we have offered early, gotten early, solid committments, and then no drama/11th hour stuff.  At this point, I'd say a lot of desirable HS players are in the same ballpark...most have already made a committment and so we are in a situation trying to get a flip, and will be going forward.  Maybe we should just try to poach whoever Dantonio has recruited LOL.  Chances are its going to be a solid player.

It also might be a difficult time of year due to the travel schedule, and bye weeks already gone by, and big games upcoming.  I realize the phone cuts thru a lot of those issues and so I don't have a good answer that makes sense to me as to why offer and not follow up.  It would be very nice if Mr Mattison would pay him a visit in person, that would seem to be quite powerful to me, in other words, to establish a relationship with the DC himself.

Perhaps the reason for gauging interest, is that the player could flip, and then flip back eventually, to their first answer.  So if you had a player who had immediate, hotbed public interest, then you could be reasonably assurred that a flip would stick and not revert.

The counterpoint to these single offers is to offer shotgun style, several players, in parallel.  While not knowing exactly who would commit, it would seem to setup a sense of urgency due to not many spots remaining.

My guess is Michigan coaches knew at least a day ahead of time about Hand going to Bama, obviously they weren't going to blow up the big announcement by tipping their cards, but had an offer ready.  Ultimately, Hoke's been here before, and knows how to handle this, i for one will be interested to watch it play out.