Leonard Williams: Best Defensive Player in College Football?
Every year the college football world hears about a “can’t miss” prospect, or the “next big thing” that dominates the media landscape. This year is no different as the University of Southern California Trojans have one of the most impressive athletes to ever put on the USC Cardinal and Gold with Junior Defensive End Leonard Williams.
Leonard Williams is a 6’5”, 300-pound powerhouse that has dominated the early part of the football season, and making a case to be the possible top draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Leonard Williams came to the Trojans as one the top defensive linemen in the country out of Daytona Beach, Florida. He was ranked as the fifth best Defensive End recruit by Rivals, and has grown into one of the most impressive defensive linemen that USC has ever produced.
Williams has been the anchor of the Trojans defense, and was named as team captain at the young age of 20 due to his leadership ability, tenacity, and sheer determination on the field.
Here are five reasons why Leonard Williams is considered the best Defensive Player in college football:
Ability to get up for the big game – Leonard Williams has shown that the bright lights, and big stage do not affect him at all, and that he has even played better under those conditions. Williams was able to withstand terrible pain, and played one of the greatest games of his young career against a very formidable Stanford Cardinal Offensive Line. Williams had 11 tackles, and caused the game saving fumble to secure victory for the Trojans in that epic contest against Stanford. Williams was named Defensive Player of the Week, and earned his first career PAC 12 Player of the Week honors. Williams seems to enjoy the pressure, and wants to be relied upon by his teammates to lead them to victory.
Playmaking ability – Leonard Williams has been characterized by many as a “Wildman” on the field. Williams is always around the ball making a key play, and has the ability to change the course of the game at any snap of the ball. Williams just has the ability to sniff out the play before it has even had a chance to develop, and has been known to cause havoc for any offensive game plan.
Athleticism – Most defensive lineman are usually big and strong, but lack athleticism. Williams is a superior athlete with closing speed that many have compared to NFL Superstar JJ Watt. In the match up with the Cardinal, Williams ran down Stanford’s top athlete Ty Montgomery with relative ease. Williams is able to shed blocks, and make plays on runners that many speedy linebackers and corners have trouble making, and seem to be getting quicker by the week.
Causes havoc along the line of scrimmage – You do not have to be the leading tackler to be considered the most dominant member of a defense. Williams is the ultimate disruptor along the line of scrimmage. Williams has the ability to shed blocks and create havoc with his tremendous lateral speed. Offenses have to account for Williams at all times on the field, and due to this fact, many are never able to get on track.
Leadership – Leadership is a quality that cannot be given, it must be earned. Leonard Williams is the ultimate leader for the USC Trojans as he leads on and off the field of play. Williams is a leader with his tenacity on the field, and he is a leader by example. Williams does not take this responsibility lightly and he shows it every weekend on the field.
These reasons alone make him the top Defensive Player in College Football, and sure-fire top prospect to dominate at the next level.