With that reality check in mind, let’s say that a thorough review of his junior film will send the mind racing somewhere in the realms of George Pickens all the way up to what AJ Green flashed in high school.
If that’s hard to swallow, a recent report coming out of Williams taking a trip to Tuscaloosa came away with Nick Saban dropping a Julio Jones parallel.
Um, yeah. So that pretty much frames this young man’s game in the proper attention-grabbing light.
It was interesting to see Williams at G-Day. When the game kicked off, he sat in the stands with 2022 Georgia signees Dillon Bell, Christen Miller and Marvin Jones Jr. Not some of his other peer 2023 or 2024 recruits.
“Facts,” he said. “They are cool with me. I am cool with them. They are cool guys. I would choose to sit and chill up there with them. Actually, I was there by myself. I wasn’t with my Mom. So it was cool to sit with them. Then with Marvin, he’s from where I am from. We’re already close and cool like that. He’s already been telling me about Georgia. Then the D-tackle. That was who? That was Fat Chris [Christen Miller] and yeah them boys are cool. They are super cool, man. That’s what I am looking for at a school.”
“Fat Chris is probably the coolest one. I am not going to lie to you. He’s fun. Funny. Cool. You won’t find another Fat Chris anywhere. Good luck.”
How does he feel about Georgia?
“I love Georgia,” he said. “I love them. I love the way they prioritize me when I get there. I love the way they play football. I love it.”
What could he add to the team?
“Just something like George Pickens or better,” he said. “Somebody that when they need a play to be made, I’m there.”
What does he like the most about the ‘Dawgs?
“The atmosphere,” he said. “I just love being there.”
Georgia receivers coach Bryan McClendon is a real asset here. Williams said those two have been talking back when he was coaching at Oregon.
“He’s cool,” Williams said. “He is one of the coolest coaches out there. He’s played at the highest levels. I’m sure he knows what it takes.”
Williams feels Alabama, Pitt and Texas A&M are the schools that are really working to earn his signature on the scholarship papers. That’s basically it.
“There’s no point in wasting people’s time at this point,” he said. “Half the people that have all these schools, I feel like they just want a lot of people to stay on them and recruit them. They don’t understand how valuable other people’s time actually is. They are wasting people’s time and their own money going everywhere. They are wasting it. There are other kids out here who need a chance and they’ve got all these colleges focusing on them for no real reason.”
Williams feels his eventual college decison will not be easy.
“I promise you the schools that I have in mind, the five that I am going to drop soon, they are making it so hard for me,” he said. “I promise you I would have been committed but they are making it so hard. This decision is so hard because of everything. All these schools almost feel like home. That’s really why I am taking my time to make sure I make the right decision.”
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4-star Florida WR Hykeem Williams ranks as the nation's No. 6 WR and the No. 39 overall prospect for 2023 on the 247Sports Composite. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
What motivates Hykeem Williams to be great?
The Williams highlight tape is pretty strong. There are traces of all those Green, Jones and Pickens parallels. The first clip pretty much runs the gamut.
Catches a short route. Then acts like a Georgia running back getting those “Dawg yards” after what the play design cooked up. Several breakaway tackles and then finding another gear to house an 85-yard touchdown.
There are also those special plays on the balls in the air. In the second clip, he shows off more change-of-direction after snatching a pass over the middle and more breakaway speed.
It is clear that nobody is pressing him at the line. That is the respect he gets on gamedays. He says he can run every route. He looks to NFL Pro Bowler D.K. Metcalf for inspiration to his game.
These are elite traits at work in a 6-foot-3 and 208-pound frame. There are over-the-shoulder catches and high-point balls he brings down. Williams is also a true talent on the hardwood. He hit a game-winning shot in the district playoffs and scored 20 points and brought down 10 rebounds in the Florida Class 5A state championship game victory for his Stranahan Mighty Dragons.
Check out his early junior tape below.
The sophomore film is also a must-watch in its own right.
A remarkable all-around athlete, he says he is driven to improve the circumstances of his loved ones and those around him.
“Where I am from man is tough,” Williams said. “I grew up rough and kind of rough. They are giving out free money to go to school and play. So why not go get it?”
He will be the first member of his family to go play college football. But that’s not the main thing.
“I’d actually be the second or third to even go to college,” he said.
He will not try to play both sports in college. Most likely not.
He’s listed at 6 feet, 4 inches in some places, but he’s honest that he is a legit 6-foot-3 on the chart with no shoes on.
“I am all muscle,” he said. “I don’t have any fat. When you look at me, I don’t have any fat on my body.”
He can dunk off a vert standing under the goal. Off a run. Off a dribble everything. He can do a 360-degree dunk and a windmill. Just name it.
“I’ve got love for both sports honestly but my life will be based on making the right decisions,” he said. “I think the right decision for me is to continue to go as far as I can in football.”
Williams is working on enrolling early in January at the school of his choice. The intended major is as impressive as some of those highlights and big catches.
“Robotics or engineering most likely,” he said.
He said his mother watches his grades.
“That and I wouldn’t even let myself slack like that with my grades,” he said.
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4-star 2023 WR prospect Hykeem Williams (Instagram)
Hykeem Williams: What does his recruiting look like right now?
Despite a recent visit, he came back to Georgia for G-Day.
“I had to come to see them on the field in a game,” he said. “To see what they actually do. I am going to be back for a game day in the fall, too.”
During the normal flow of a conversation, he comes across as highly-energetic. He speaks with such a passion in his voice at times. He emphasizes certain words. When he does, there is no need to say quite a lot. He can say less just with the way he says things to get his point across.
Do the ‘Dawgs have a shot here?
“It is definitely safe to say that they actually do,” he said. “They really do. Facts.”
In that flow, he emphasized the “definitely safe to say” part and then the “facts” follow-up.
Will the Bulldogs get an official visit?
“Heck yeah,” he said, with the volume rolled up on the “heck” part of that thought. “They are going to get one of my officials.”
Georgia could get an official visit in June. Maybe even the first week of June. That’s the weekend that other 2023 luminaries like commitment Pearce Spurlin III and major target Justice Haynes are considering for their officials.
He’s not certain about a timeline for his decision.
“Whenever I am done with my all officials,” he said. “It could be the last day after I take my officials. Or months after I take them. After I take my officials for sure, it will be after that. For sure. Not anytime before I take all my officials.”
That said, he could commit before his senior season. That’s a possibility.
People know him as a big-time receiver. He just wants folks to know there is more to his story than just that.
“I really try to be an amazing person outside of football,” he said. “Not just a football player. I’m not someone that hates on other people. Or wishes for another person’s downfall. I want to see other people be great. I am a giving person. When people see me, most people think that I am mean but I’m not really. I’m cool. I will just be vibing and having fun.”
Hykeem Williams: Is he a great fit for Georgia?
In regard to the above section head... well, duh. That highlight tape proves that.
But there was something he said that sounds like he might be an ideal fit for the ‘Dawgs than what it out there currently. Williams took a minute to describe the best play on his highlight tape.
Was it one of those big catches? Breakaway house calls? Maybe one of those broken tackles.
Nah, it was none of the above.
“I am going to go with my sophomore film,” he said. “There’s a play on there. Where I was blocking on a kick return. My man ran past me because he had the ball. I thought he was going to get caught and I chased him down.”
The play comes right at the three-minute mark of his sophomore tape. Williams turns on the jets and closes down a lot of grass in order to serve as a late shield from pursuit for his teammate at the 5-yard line.
“That’s what every college talks about,” Williams said. “I caught him and he was like 20 yards away and I caught him. Then on my mid-season junior film, you can go to the end and watch all of my blocking.”
The Bulldogs lost out on a few All-American receivers in the 2022 cycle because of their reputation for being a run-first offense in the SEC. The ‘Dawgs weren’t pass-happy enough. Or they spread the ball out to Brock Bowers too much.
With Williams, he’s got dedicated chunks of his sophomore and junior highlight tapes devoted to being an asset in the run game. Like former Georgia wideout Trey Blount used to say, he knows he has to block to get the rock.
And he showcases it.
“I like putting my hands on people,” he said. “Yes sir.”
He said he wants to play with a great quarterback. What happens if Georgia pulls it off and gets the commitment for Arch Manning?
“That would be a great upside for them with me if they did that,” Williams said.
Williams said he met him at Alabama on a visit. He’s seen him play on tape. It certainly seems like McClendon and the ‘Dawgs have done some quality work here so far recruiting a very talented young receiver.
“Every time I go to Georgia it gets better,” Hykeem Williams said.
He said he has no more questions about Georgia. Or need to see anything.
“They are just making it better and better every time I go,” he said. “I am going back to Georgia in June most likely I believe. Maybe even an official.”
4-star 2023 WR prospect Hykeem Williams (Instagram)
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