Welcome to the Fold: Armstead Williams

Coach Danny Hope addressed one of his biggest areas of concern by adding Gateway High School (PA) linebacker Armstead Williams. Williams, 6’3 210 lb, was originally recruited as a wide receiver; however, Hope changed his projection as he became more familiar with his body of work on the defensive side of the ball.

According to most analysts, he is disciplined, possesses great speed for the LB position, and rarely plays out of position. It sounds like he will be an excellent complement to the young core of linebackers we already have.He is also a candidate to see the field as a freshman.

Williams needs only a few words to describe himself: ""I'm a hard worker," Williams said. "I'm going to be playing linebacker but with DB speed. I like to hit hard and I don't quit."

What more could you ask from a linebacker. (But in full disclosure, you rarely hear a prospect quoted saying he's is slow and doesn't likes to hit delicately.)

For your viewing pleasures:

 

(more on Williams after the jump)

Facts about Armstead Williams:

- This past season, Williams tallied 62 tackles, three sacks, forced one fumble on the defensive side of the ball and s caught 30 passes for 350 yards and 5 touchdowns on offense.

- He came from the same conference as TE/DE prospect Rob Kugler. - Williams’s Sunday commitment is 14th (known) commitment of coach Hope’s class of 2011.

- Williams chose Purdue over Illinois and Iowa, however he had a slew of other offers from schools including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maryland (according to Rivals).

ESPN’s evaluation:

"Williams is a very productive player capable making big plays from any spot on the field. Has the size and excellent athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition. His production as a receiver indicates the possibility of spot assignments of the offensive side of the ball; has a smooth release with very good ball catching skills and RAC production. This is a flexible athlete with good agility and balance; plays in space very well showing the potential to be a positive factor in pass coverage. Displays good K&D run recognition skills; flashes good playing strength along with the ability to take on and defeat blockers at the point of attack; his quickness allows him to avoid contact while moving through traffic in short or long pursuit. This guy shows the ability to play downhill, stack and scrape off the edge. We like his instincts; never appears to be out of position, always maintaining good leverage on the football. Demonstrates very good pass rush and containment skill; can release from flat coverage to contain and sack the QB with a good closing burst. This is a difficult guy to block in pass protection; his athleticism and playing speed allow for game plan flexibility. Displays very good wrap tackling skills; can balance up and knock%u2019em back. We see this guy playing early on special teams. Williams may not be an immediate starter however if a red shirt year is not deemed necessary don’be surprised if he starts to see early playing time."
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