High School: Shaw HS; East Cleveland, Ohio
His Recruitment: That Tyrone Williams should appear on Ohio State’s recruiting radar is not surprising. He is from Cleveland, an important recruiting base for the Buckeyes and one where a loyalty to Ohio State, albeit imperfect, is stronger than another hotbed of talent in the state, Cincinnati. He also plays for Shaw High School, in the Lake Erie League that has produced players like David Patterson (Warrensville Heights), Dan Herron (Harding), and Thaddeus Gibson (Euclid). He is also a 6’7-ish wide receiver, something that I have no doubt stood out on film. Sure enough, there was strong interest (or nascent curiosity) about him midway through his junior year. No offer immediately came, which is attributable to a confluence of factors. Chiefly, he hyperextended his knee four games into the season, ultimately leading to ACL surgery. The stats he compiled before then certainly intrigued: 11 catches, 372 yards, 8 touchdowns. While he recovered from surgery, Tyrone paid a visit to Ohio State for a junior day event. He was impressed with his first visit to Columbus, remarking specifically about the weight room. Not much changed for the next few months. Tyrone bounced back from surgery, picked up a written scholarship offer from Akron, and swung by Columbus again after a visit to Cincinnati.
The spring and summer did not have many developments in Tyrone’s recruitment, other than the suggestion that academic concerns were precluding future scholarship offers. It was an uncertainty about Tyrone that ended only when he enrolled for summer quarter at Ohio State, though it did not prevent the Buckeyes from sending a written scholarship offer. These concerns notwithstanding, Ohio State was his clear #1 choice. He had long thought of them as his favorite and the best possible choice for him. It was important for Tyrone to get his house in order and remove all doubt on the status of his scholarship offer.
His Commitment: The final decision was not terribly surprising, but Tyrone Williams nevertheless made his decision fairly quietly. His recruitment abruptly ended with an August 29th, 2009 commitment to Ohio State.
Williams called OSU coach Jim Tressel early Saturday afternoon.
“The coaching staff is very embracing,” Brown said. “T.Y. is a home-state boy and it’s the best choice for him. He could have visited other schools. He wants to a Buckeye.”
Williams, who is reserved and polite, said he struck up a good rapport with Tressel and assistant coaches Taver Johnson and Darrell Hazel. He said once he set foot in Ohio Stadium in Columbus, it was a done deal.
The 12th commitment in the 2010 class, Tyrone Williams was the second receiver after James Louis. He is also a real split end option in this class, an addition that seems more fortuitous with the transfer of Duron Carter to community college (the only real split end option in the 2009 class).
Where He Excels: The jury is still out on what James Louis and Corey Brown 2010 may become for the Buckeyes. Louis has the potential to become the X receiver for the Buckeyes, but I imagine he would be best as a slot receiver. If Tyrone starts for the Buckeyes, he starts as the split end. He is a huge, tree of a receiver that you put on the line of scrimmage.
I think college football fans have a healthy skepticism of measurables given for a recruit on a recruiting service. I am sure someone will measure Tyrone Williams and determine that 6’7 is clearly rounding up. Whatever the case, Tyrone Williams is a tall receiver, and, at only 18, may grow another inch or two in college. If we assume 6’7 is essentially accurate, we may be looking at receiver that may get even taller and would be perfect pitch and catch for Terrelle Pryor and/or his successor. He more than compensates for losing Josh Chichester, who found his way from Ohio State’s grasp to Louisville for a variety of reasons.
You can imagine what having a receiver like that does for Ohio State’s red zone offense. Buckeye fans bemoan that our red zone production could be better. Having a 6’7 wide receiver, to join the huge tight end targets we have (6’5 Stoneburner, 6’8 Reid Fragel Rock), helps. Best attribute that I was able to determine is Tyrone’s upper body control. Terrelle Pryor, or his successor, may have someone akin to Tacopants, the imaginary receiver made of dreams that helped Chad Henne through his early years. Should he crack the starting eleven, Ohio State QBs will have an easier receiving target, given Tyrone’s ability to pluck a ball out of the air, beyond the reach of most defensive backs.
Must Work On: Absurd height comes with tradeoffs. At that height and weight, Tyrone is not a breakaway threat. He is not slow, but he simply will not provide much after the catch. This is fine. This is why we have James Louis and Corey Brown 2010.
Taller athletes of almost all sports will not have the most desirable footwork. Already, I see that Tyrone Williams will need to work on his get-off at the line of scrimmage. I think opposing defenses in the Lake Erie League gave him cushion, definitely out of respect and fear. You don’t want Williams roaming the secondary, but would gladly make him catch the 1yd outs. Future opposing defenses will not respect Tyrone so much. Unless Tyrone can master the footwork necessary to shake people loose at the line of scrimmage, or better develop his upper body to outmuscle people, he is going to be jammed into irrelevance. Tyrone will always be 6’7, and most cornerbacks will always be from 5’10 to 6’1. Still, the better athletes at the college level will ride him, give him no room to breathe, and safety help will make trying to squeeze a pass high a very bad idea.
Overall, I think there is plenty of reason to be intrigued about Tyrone. He, perhaps more than anyone else in this class (maybe Verlon Reed as the exception), defines a 2010 class that is relatively low on total hype, but high on overall potential. Tyrone played only four games of his junior season before his injury and, if my memory is not failing me, he did not camp anywhere in that following summer. It is exactly this time when a prospective college football player earns his “stars” on Rivals.com. It is also this time where a prospective athlete advances more towards the “polished” side of the raw-polished continuum. All told, there is plenty of reason to be interested in Tyrone moving forward.
Redshirt? These are always difficult predictions to make and much remains to be seen in this summer. I think Tyrone ultimately redshirts for a variety of reasons. First, Duron Carter’s transfer to Coffeyville Community College necessarily opens up the receiver picture for the 2010 Buckeyes, but it does not do so for Tyrone. Do not misunderstand me. If Tyrone can somehow impress his way into the receiver rotation in 2010, it will move DeVier Posey into a slot position in 3 WR sets. This would make DeVier Posey basically unstoppable. Still, I see more opportunity for Louis and Brown 2010 under this situation (as well as the 2009 kids), and not Tyrone.
Further, an additional year will help Tyrone grow into being a full time wide receiver. He was a three sport athlete for the Shaw Cardinals, moving from football to basketball to track. I think he has some important physical development to do, mostly developing a stronger upper body. An additional year will help. Ultimately, I think he serves on the scout team and watches the 2010 season from the sideline.
Highlights: Scouting Ohio disappoints here. Senior season footage is scarce, but you can see some here. I include some junior year footage below.
- Tyrone Williams was thought to be on the verge of not qualifying for summer quarter at Ohio State, though he managed to enroll. Bucknuts’ signing day feature on Tyrone mentioned that his situation was similar to Chris Fields; he just needed to play catch-up.
On the academic front, both Fields and Williams were on a similar journey during the recruiting process. But just like Fields did last year, Culliver thinks that Williams will make the requisite grades and the test score he needs in the end.
“Right now he’s probably about in the same place that Chris Fields was at this time last year,” Culliver said. “He was in that 2.3 or 2.4 area with the core about this time last year and that’s sort of the same situation that Tyrone is in. By the time June comes around, he’ll probably have about a 2.7 core and then he’s got to get that ACT up. But if he gets over that 2.6 or 2.7 core he should be fine with a 17 or 18 to get in. He’s going to keep taking the test until he makes it in. Chris took the test every time he had to until the Clearinghouse said he was clear.”
So it’s definitely a good thing for Williams that Culliver was just through this process with Fields last year.
“Every week I get a text from Coach Johnson to make sure that T-Y is doing what he’s doing from my end,” Culliver said. “And they’re always in contact with Coach Brown to make sure Coach Brown stays on T-Y in the school. So we’re double-teaming and triple-teaming him from every angle.
“Ohio State is going to do whatever they need to do to wait on the kid and make sure he gets the grades he needs to get. He just has to hunker down like Chris did and get it done. It was an everyday process that I went through with Chris and it’s an everyday process that Coach Brown is going through with Tyrone.”
- Referred to here as Tyrone, T-Y is a common nickname for him.
- Interesting track times to note: 22.6 in the 200m dash; a 4×400 relay split in 48.1. He was the 2nd leg of the relay, a unit that finished seventh in state (D-1) in his junior year.
- An assistant coach on his Shaw Cardinals team, Devlin Culliver, was Chris Fields’ head coach at Painesville Harvey.
- Bucknuts interview: here
- Darrell Hazell, speaking about Tyrone on signing day:
“It’s a beautiful thing,” OSU receivers coach Darrell Hazell said. “A 6-7 guy who can lower his hips, who has quickness to get off the ball, has a burst, plays outside his body – he’s a rare guy. He’s special.”
- He joined Verlon Reed, Christian Bryant, JT Moore and Darryl Baldwin as future Buckeyes that took part in the Ohio North-South Classic. He appeared to look better in practice than he did in the game itself, something maybe attributable to playcalling in the game. The O-Zone explains:
I’m a little disappointed we didn’t see Williams dominate the game the way I had expected after watching him in practice during the week. At 6-foot-7, he literally could have had his way with any of the South defensive backs, but they simply didn’t look for him. He caught a pair of 9-yard slants where he did an excellent job of catching the ball traffic with his hands away from his body, but they hardly ever used what I consider to be their most dangerous weapon.
He did draw a pass interference call late in the game and they finally went to him in the red zone on a successful two-point conversion, but I would have loved to see them target him more often throughout the game.
- He was supposed to take part in the Big 33 game, but pulled out.
- Pre-compiled stats, courtesy of Bucknuts:
* Vital Statistics: Williams rebounded from a knee injury as a junior to have a good senior season at Shaw. He had 29 catches for 600 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning Special Mention All-Ohio honors in Division I. He suffered a torn ACL in the fifth game of his junior year and was lost for the rest of the year. In those five games, though, he had 11 receptions for 372 yards (33.8 average) with eight touchdown catches. He was also a second-team All-Ohio pick as a sophomore. He has been selected for the Ohio All-Star Classic April 23 at Ohio Stadium.
* Rankings: He is rated as the No. 7 overall senior prospect in Ohio, according to Ohio High magazine/JJHuddle.com. Also rated as the No. 11 overall prospect in the state, according to The Ohio Football Recruiting News. ESPN Scouts Inc. is picked as the nation’s No. 34 wide receiver prospect. SuperPrep ranks him as the 35th-best prospect in the Midwest.
I think he is now better known.
|Class of 2010|
|Name||Position||Hometown||Better Known?||Name||Position||Hometown||Better Known?|
|Darryl Baldwin||DE||Solon, OH||05.25||James Louis||WR||Delray Beach, FL||06.21|
|Drew Basil||K||Chillicothe, OH||05.17||Scott McVey||LB||Cleveland, OH||05.03|
|Corey Brown 2010||ATH||Springfield, PA||JT Moore||DE||Youngstown, OH||02.15|
|Christian Bryant||DB||Cleveland, OH||Andrew Norwell||OL||Cincinnati, OH||03.29|
|David Durham||LB/DE||Charlotte, NC||04.12||Verlon Reed||ATH||Columbus, OH|
|Taylor Graham||QB||Wheaton, IL||05.08||Bradley Roby||DB||Suwanee, GA|
|Adam Griffin||ATH||Columbus, OH||Roderick Smith||RB||Fort Wayne, IN||05.13|
|Chad Hagan||LB/S||Canonsburg, PA||07.06||Jamel Turner||DE||Fork Union, VA||03.08|
|Johnathon Hankins||DT||Detroit, TSUN||Tyrone Williams||WR||Cleveland, OH||07.09|
|Carlos Hyde||RB||Naples, FL||06.29.09|