The 2019 Draft is considered to be top-heavy on defense, with Andraez ‘Greedy’ Williams headlining the defensive backs. A two-year starter at LSU, Williams had 6 interceptions as a freshman. New York has a glaring need to fill at the position, and if they do not retain Morris Claiborne, Williams may provide some stability.
Greedy Williams is the prototypical corner, listed at 6’2” 185 lbs. He displays excellent ball skills and has the making to be an early first round selection. Due to the trends of recent drafts, a team may decide to reach on him come April, so it will be interesting to see where teams have him on their big boards.
Greedy Williams shows a unique ability to read and react to plays to go along with elite level ball skills, which is a top-tier trait for his position. Heading in to the draft process, there were those who questioned Williams’ speed but he answered that by running a 4.33 40 time this week in Indy. LSU has a habit of churning out excellent talent in the secondary and Williams is the latest. Battle tested in a tough conference, Williams played in a total of 24 games at LSU, picking off 8 passes in that time.
Williams lacks physicality at the cornerback position and isn’t the most willing tackler. Several onlookers have commented on his unwillingness to be more aggressive in run support.
If the Jets decide it is time to part ways with Morris Claiborne, Greedy Williams could make for a dynamic pair with veteran cornerback Trumaine Johnson. However, he may not fit in Gregg Williams’ aggressive defense due to his poor tackling. If the Jets trade back far enough in the first round, Williams may be an ideal selection, but if they stay at 3, there will be many better prospects available for the Green & White.
Recent results have swiftly transformed Mississippi into the epicenter of an unpredictable college football season. Admirers and enemies alike have witnessed the rapid ascension of two in-state SEC programs, but few have enjoyed front-row seats to this spectacle like Louisiana brothers Rodarius and Andraez Williams.
The Shreveport defensive back duo spends Friday nights shutting down opposing passing attacks for Calvary Baptist Academy, then stay busy on weekends by hitting the recruiting trail, highlighted by back-to-back Saturday afternoons at Mississippi State. They first journeyed to Davis Wade Stadium on Oct. 4 for a “prove it” game against Texas A&M.
The Bulldogs, then ranked 12th nationally and fresh off an upset road win at LSU, throttled the Aggies in front of a raucous crowd. Rodarius and Andraez, along with much of America, moved on from the matchup with an altered image of Dan Mullen’s program.
“You can’t help but be impressed,” Rodarius said. “It’s a great atmosphere. It’s the place to be right now. I love everything about Mississippi State so far from what we’ve seen.”
The heralded high school juniors enjoyed the new experience, but what occurred next sent the strongest message from Starkville. The Williams brothers returned to school Monday with a Mississippi State scholarship offer awaiting each of them.
“The coaches told us they were going to offer, and they didn’t waste any time,” Rodarius said. “It means a lot to us. No matter what offers I get in the future, they’ll always be near the top of my list. I really appreciate that they’ve been straight and honest with us about everything.”
It represented the first big-time FBS offer for Rodarius, a 2016 prospect who has largely remained under the radar relative to his sibling. Andraez has already assembled an impressive list of collegiate opportunities, with Texas A&M and LSU among those in the mix.
He didn’t hesitate when asked to assess the current climate in SEC country.
“I think Mississippi, the whole state, owns football in the South right now,” Andraez said.
The brothers returned to Starkville last Saturday to watch the Bulldogs upend reigning SEC champion Auburn, giving the team three straight victories over top-10 opponents.
“It was like, wow, they did it again,” Rodarius said.
Mississippi State rose to No. 1 in national rankings, leapfrogging defending national champ Florida State. Expectations are suddenly sky-high for a program long held down by more esteemed conference contemporaries.
“I think Mississippi State will go all the way to the national championship game,” Andraez said. “They’ve got the quarterback and the defense to do it.”
The quarterback, Dak Prescott, is a Heisman Trophy contender and Louisiana native. His national popularity, along with national respect for the program, is soaring.
“Everyone is talking about Mississippi State,” Rodarius said. “I think they’ve surprised a lot of people. I’m sure they believed in themselves when the season started, but they’re the underdog. It’s crazy to see them at No. 1.”
The Williams’ respect for the program has undoubtedly been enhanced by a recent string of eye-opening wins, but their interest extends beyond the win column.
Both prospects are intrigued by the opportunity to team up with cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend, who starred at Alabama and went on to win two Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Coach Townsend was in [the] NFL for a very long time, and he obviously knows what he’s doing,” Rodarius said. “When we got to Mississippi State for the first time, he told us to watch how disciplined their defensive backs are. I kept my eyes on them all game. He wasn’t kidding. They’re trained very well.”
Andraez echoed those sentiments.
“I think Coach Townsend is the best defensive coach around,” he said. “It would be an honor to play for him because he always has his players ready to compete.”
Whether or not the brothers compete together in college remains a mystery. While it’s clearly a goal for both athletes, there’s someone else who would cherish the bond even more.
“My mama would love that,” Andraez said.
“Yeah, it would be sweet to play together, but a lot of it will depend on a team’s situation at cornerback,” he continued. “If there’s an opportunity for both of us to come in and play, that’s great. But if we have to fight for just one spot I’m not sure.”
Rodarius and Andraez, nicknamed “Lee Lee” and “Greedy” respectively, have been spectacular for Calvary Baptist, a state title contender. They’ve combined for 39 tackles and five interceptions—four plucked by Rodarius—through six games.
“We talk about staying together in college all the time,” Rodarius said. “We’ve had a lot of success in high school, and it would be cool to keep that going.”
Much of that success has been forged through fierce daily competition against teammate Shea Patterson. The 5-star quarterback recruit is a blue-chip member of the 2016 class, tossing 51 touchdowns and just one interception in his past 17 games, per MaxPreps.
“He’s definitely challenged us to become better defenders because it’s really hard to deal with his passes,” Andraez said. “He can burn you because he puts the ball in a perfect spot. That’s forced us to play more physical in man coverage and learn how to jam up receivers at the line.”
The results have been outstanding, putting both brothers in position to participate at the highest level of amateur football.
So what’s their commonality?
“We’re both shutdown guys who can control our side of the field,” Andraez said. “I’m faster than he is, but I think he’s got better ball skills right now. We’re both working to get better, just trying to see where it takes us.”
Andraez anticipates a return to Mississippi for the third straight Saturday—this time flying solo—to watch Ole Miss take on Tennessee. The Rebels, ranked third nationally, extended an offer last week.
“I’ve never seen Ole Miss play, so this weekend is going to be a good opportunity for me to see what that program is all about,” he said.
A debate is raging about which Mississippi team is superior at this point of the season. If both programs manage to make it through their matchups unbeaten, the winner would be a strong favorite to claim the No. 1 seed in inaugural College Football Playoffs.
Naturally, the Williams brothers will be front and center when the rivals collide Nov. 29 for what certainly could become the most meaningful football game ever played in Mississippi.
“I’m not sure if Ole Miss can beat Mississippi State because I think the Bulldogs have an edge, but it will be an amazing matchup to see,” Andreaz said. “We’ll definitely be at that one.”
All quotes obtained firsthand by B/R national recruiting analyst Tyler Donohue.