[This is the 22nd in a series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the 2018 signing class and the impact they had this past season, as well as the impact they could have this coming season.]
Alex Williams came to Ohio State from nearby Pickerington North High School. He was ranked the No. 34 weakside defensive end in the 2018 recruiting class and the No. 615 player overall. Williams was also ranked the No. 26 player in the state of Ohio. He signed with the Buckeyes over offers from West Virginia, Iowa State, Virginia, Akron, and Eastern Kentucky.
Nearly three years ago, Alex Williams was committed to Iowa State. About a year later, in May of 2017, he flipped to West Virginia. Later that winter, however, Ohio State offered. That was the first year of the early signing period, so Urban Meyer had to offer in December or risk losing him on the dotted line to WVU.
The offer was well-earned, as Williams had a very good senior season on both sides of the ball. When he signed, it wasn’t yet known what position he would end up playing, but at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, Meyer figured they could find a spot for him.
Williams ended up at defensive end and dealt with injuries last season. He did not play in 2018 and redshirted. He was, however, healthy enough and advanced enough to have played toward the end of the year, but the Buckeyes were deep enough at defensive end without him.
So Now What
Alex Williams is part of a deep group of defensive ends for the Buckeyes this season, but they’ll likely be losing three of them after the 2019 season.
Williams and fellow redshirt freshman defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste watched from the sidelines last season, but defensive line coach Larry Johnson liked what he saw from both of them in practice.
“We have so many young guys, but you can’t play them all,” he said recently. “Alex and him, they both needed fundamental work and they both needed growth and development, so we decided to hold those two guys back. But in the course of the season we were ready to go with those guys because they had practiced. If we needed to at the end of the year [we could have played them], but we redshirted them to give them a great jump start to the future next year. So I’m looking forward to both of those guys.”
There may not be a ton of playing time this year for Williams, but he will no longer be held back because of his redshirt. If he produces in practice, he will play in the games.
Williams is a big athlete, so he has plenty to work with. Even last year, he was able to do stuff like this to classmate Nicholas Petit-Frere.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 11, 2018