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Monday, January 08, 2007

Michael Williams, a moderately shirtless -- call it a tank top -- CB/S from St. Bonaventure, California, committed to Michigan at the Army All-American game this weekend sometime between Ryan Mallett schooling fools and Ryan Mallett throwing perfect-but-dropped touchdown passes to wide receivers totally unprepared for his glory. This is good for Michigan, which needs dudes in the secondary and how, but slightly difficult for your blogger, who for Google-related reasons prefers outlandish names like "Zoltan Mesko" or "K'len Morris" that don't turn up accountants, fifth graders, and CEOs.

Nevertheless, sifting provides the following information: Williams was quickly down to Michigan and Notre Dame, and though the occasional California school (or, oddly, Northwestern) would pop up in a list from time to time it was a battle between midwest heavyweights who cower at bowl games the whole way. Michigan won, obviously.

Williams is either 5'10" or 5'11" or 6'0", depending on who you believe and, as mentioned earlier on MGoBlog, is being recruited as a "nickelback," which is the odd corner-safety hybrid Michigan deployed Brandon Harrison and Ryan Mundy in for much of the year. A report from September on the USC Scout site:

St. Bonaventure – I was pretty impressed with Michael Williams. He was very active from the safety spot, he came up and hit people and he was also dynamic on special teams. I had heard reports that he might be smaller than advertised but I thought he looked around 6-0, 190 and that is plenty big to grow into a fine college safety.
The various sites all liked him about the same. Scout and Rivals have him a high-ish four star but not in their top 100s while ESPN ranks him #94 and breaks all my cliche alarms with the opening of their fawning scouting report ($):
This kid is a flat out football player. Williams is a safety with a linebacker menatlity [sic] versus the run and cornerback skills in pass coverage. He is dangerous with the ball in his hands and is a threat to score everytime [sic] he touches the ball... [redundancy sic]
Flat out! Football! Player! Woo. The whole thing goes on like that and you end up wondering how he got pegged the #10 safety in the country even after he defeated Godzilla in single combat. There's a full profile from the Ventura County Star:
"What makes him a great player on defense," says [St. Bonaventure head coach Jon] Mack, "first is his intelligence, and then second his speed and physicalness.

"He knows where he's supposed to be, and he gets there in a hurry, and then when he gets there, he can inflict some punishment."

It sounds like he was one of the more impressive players in the Army Bowl practices and may find his way into the tail end of top-100 lists when the sites re-order them.

In sum: very, very important pickup of a player who will see immediate playing time in the secondary next year and possibly as a returner. Board update coming probably tomorrow with a look at the recruiting stretch run.