Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Mykel Williams (13) reacts after sacking Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis (not pictured) during their NCAA football game at Kroger Field, Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky. The sack was negated on a Georgia penalty. Georgia won 16-6. Jason Getz /

Mykel Williams: Rising sophomore star defender out for the rest of spring drills after injury

Mykel Williams is one of the most talented young players on the Georgia team. The rising sophomore will draw some preseason ALL-SEC consideration heading into his second season in Athens.

He’ll just have a different vantage point at G-Day next month. DawgNation has confirmed the Columbus native will miss the rest of spring practice with a foot injury. Jed May of was the first to report the news this morning.

Williams will have surgery and will be expected to make a full recovery in time for fall drills.

He enrolled last January after dominating the All-American Bowl week in Texas. The former 5-star from Hardaway High School in Columbus finished his prep career ranked as the nation’s No. 4 overall prospect.

The last time he took the field for the Bulldogs was a memorable one. Williams had a sack to go along with five tackles and three QB hurries in a rousing 65-7 national championship victory against TCU out in California.

DawgNation’s Connor Riley recently wrote about what the ‘Dawgs were expecting out of Williams in 2023.

“Mykel definitely showed a lot of talent when it comes to helping us out. Obviously, you saw that last season,” Nazir Stackhouse said. “A big sack against Ohio State, against a first-round offensive tackle [Paris Johnson]. Him just showing us that, that was just giving us clues that in the future he’s going to be a great, dominant player when it comes to playing defensive end.”

The recent comments made by Zion Logue seem pretty fitting after the Williams news.

“Throughout the years that Coach Smart has been here, he’s built that culture of next guy up no matter if a guy leaves or if a guy gets injured, if you’re out there on that field, you’re a starter,” Zion Logue said. “So we’ve just got to find that next piece.”

Stackhouse also shared his thoughts on the type of game wrecker that Williams could be this fall. Reports coming out of spring drills were that Williams had taken a big step heading into his sophomore season.

“He can play JACK, and him transitioning from high school, you couldn’t really see it that different because he plays really hard,” Stackhouse said. “He played really hard at high school. He’s playing really hard now, and it’s just going to be exciting to watch his future with Georgia football.”

Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that loss leaves the ‘Dawgs minus another one of their top pass rushers for this spring. Rising sophomore LB/EDGE Jalon Walker has been out this spring after shoulder surgery. Sophomore EDGE Marvin Jones Jr., another talented pass rusher, is also out after having a procedure on his shoulder.

That said, what Logue said earlier this spring rings true. This gives even more reps and a bigger opportunity for Georgia’s younger players at that position. The Bulldogs signed a number of pass rush/EDGE types in the 2023 cycle in 5-star Damon Wilson, 5-star Samuel M’Pemba and 4-star Gabe Harris.

Those three mid-year enrollees were all All-Americans in high school. Wilson is a very promising defender. He had a stellar high school career and was ranked the nation’s No. 20 overall prospect for the 247Sports Composite rankings as well as coming out of high school.

His bench press was reported at more than 400 pounds during his senior season.

Darris Smith, another talented rising sophomore in the 2022 class, should also be expected to get more reps as a pass-rush specialist with Williams on the mend.

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2024 prospects like Daniel Calhoun, Dwight Phillips Jr., Dylan Raiola and Sacovie White.

Georgia DE Mykel Williams gets in on the postgame celebration in the end zone after the 42-20 beatdown of Florida at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 29, 2022. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
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