Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss LSU’s chances of landing Mississippi defensive end James Williams. The 3-star lineman named LSU to his unofficial top four along with Ole Miss, Alabama and Louisville, and is aiming to commit before the start of his senior season.
James Williams has memorable camp at LSU
RICHMOND, Miss. — James Williams made himself a known commodity in the Bayou a month ago when he camped at LSU. That process didn’t take all too long.
Williams is a 3-star defensive lineman from Mississippi and a top-15 strongside end in the 2018 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports composite. The No. 2-ranked prospect from the Magnolia State spent part of last month in Baton Rouge, where he quickly garnered attention from LSU coaches, most notably head man Ed Orgeron.
Orgeron made it clear that he wants to add Williams to the Tigers’ 2018 class, and the visit left a lasting impression on the pass rusher.
“It was a good experience,” Williams told SEC Country at the Varsity Preps Elite camp at Hinds Community College. “They really want me to come there.”
LSU is among Williams’ unofficial top four teams. Also included in that group is Alabama, Louisville and in-state Ole Miss.
Williams’ visit to Baton Rouge comes on the heels of a decision. He aims to commit ahead of his senior season at Callaway (Miss.) High School, which gets underway in August. The Tigers have put themselves in a strong position despite Williams maintaining there is no leader at this time.
“I’m just taking my time, going through the process and I want to focus on the season. At the end of the day, I know that I’m going to choose the right one,” Williams said. “Right now, it’s still kind of wide open. I just want to see who really wants me there and who is willing to make me a part of their family. I want a school that wants to keep working with me, so as long as they’re willing to bring me in, work with me and do that, then that will make me feel like that family.”
LSU’s unique edge over the Tide
While LSU has cemented a spot in Williams’ final four, the Tigers may be in a better situation than most realize.
Of course, LSU will have a difficult time contending with the state school, Ole Miss, but it has put itself in a strong position compared to another SEC West rival.
While visiting Baton Rouge in June, Williams learned that Orgeron was Alabama defensive line coach Karl Dunbar’s mentor. Yes, the Tide’s primary recruiter was groomed by LSU’s coach, though the two have never been on the same staff.
“When he [Orgeron] said that he taught Coach Dunbar, I was like: ‘Ohhhhhhhhh!’ If he taught Dunbar, then he can teach me, too,” Williams laughed. “Since then, we’ve just been talking and catching up.”
Alabama’s pitch to the 6-foot-6, 273-pound bull rusher has centered around Dunbar’s track record of producing NFL defensive linemen.
Dunbar believes Williams can be on the same level as the defensive lineman he previously coached. Naturally, that made waves with the 3-star prospect.
But when Williams learned that Orgeron was Dunbar’s mentor, he admits that changed the landscape of his top four.
“Coach Dunbar wants to put me on the same level [of his former defensive linemen] and he knows that I can perform on,” said Williams. “But when [Orgeron] said that [he taught Dunbar], that changed everything. He taught him so much, then he can definitely teach me, too. That was a good — no, a great — feeling.”
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here.