[This is the fourth in our annual series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the previous season’s freshman class and the impact they had as rookies, as well as the impact they could have during the upcoming season. Up next is wide receiver Jameson Williams.]
Jameson Williams went to Cardinal Ritter College Prep in St. Louis, Missouri where he was the No. 82 player in the 247Sports Composite and the No. 13 receiver in the nation. He was also the top player in the state. Williams chose Ohio State over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Michigan, LSU, Texas, USC, Western Michigan, and more.
Williams was one of two wide receivers signed by the Buckeyes in the 2019 class, joining 5-star Texas prospect Garrett Wilson. Wilson got the attention because of his recruiting rankings, but Williams was no slouch as a Top 100 player himself. His speed is legitimate, posting a personal best 10.54 100 meters in high school.
Williams didn’t arrive at OSU until the summer, which put him behind just about every other scholarship receiver on the roster. He still played in every game for the Buckeyes in 2019, catching six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.
That touchdown was a 61-yard catch and run that gave people flashbacks of Ted Ginn Jr.
If you’ve forgotten, here’s the reminder.
He lost his black stripe fairly early in fall camp last year. How did he do it?
“First off, I think he’s got some competitiveness in him,” OSU head coach Ryan Day said back in August. “He’s tough. He’s obviously got a lot of long-end speed. He can really run, and he’s been doing a good job. He’s stepped right up. He has the mentality that he wants to come in here and play as a freshman, which I can appreciate. He’s doing a good job on special teams and he’s mixing it up right away.
“He’s still got a lot to learn. Made a bunch of mental mistakes today but again, he’s a freshman and still learning. But he’s got the right attitude, and he’s going hard, so we can work with that.”
So Now What For Jameson Williams
Jameson Williams didn’t need to play last season because the Buckeyes had plenty of receivers, but he still saw action and gained valuable experience. He got his yips out and learned the value of seeing the ball into his hands.
Williams’ size (6-2 170), speed, and skill set peg him as a Z with Chris Olave. The question is whether or not he can get into the rotation this coming season as one of the top six receivers. More receivers than that will play, but in terms of the six “starters,” Williams is going to have a great shot at making the cut.
Assuming Garrett Wilson stays at X, Williams’ biggest competition at Z would be Kamryn Babb, Ellijah Gardiner, and incoming freshmen Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Williams didn’t really have a chance to show himself as a deep threat last season because there was no need to throw deep when the Buckeyes were up by 13 touchdowns. He looks every bit like a dangerous receiver down the sideline, but he still has to show it.
His ability after the catch is already known, provided he makes the catch first. He had a drop or two last season and reminds himself of those drops every single day.
With a season under Brian Hartline, expect a few more plays in 2020 that have Williams living up to the nickname of Ted Ginn Jr. Jr.