Mykel Williams-Georgia football recruiting-UGA football recruiting
5-star DL Mykel Williams had a big visit to UGA on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, for the Arkansas game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Mykel Williams: What the 5-star DL thought of his front-row VIP treatment on visit

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry is about the latest with 5-star DL target Mykel Williams of Hardaway High School in Columbus.

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Mykel Williams, the current 5-star USC commit, was in Athens for the Arkansas game this weekend. He had, as a few of the photos on this page will reflect, quite a lot on his mind.

It was not about what flavor of electrolyte beverage he wished to consume next. Or what he was going to have at the hibachi grill with all the priority recruiting targets later that day.

Williams is deeply wanted by the Bulldogs. He’s an in-state priority as the nation’s no. 5 DL and the No. 29 overall prospect in this class per the 247Sports Composite ratings.

We’ve heard that a few of those go-getters in the Georgia recruiting office actually wept when he chose USC this summer.

USC has fired coach Clay Helton since then. And yet Williams remains a public commitment to the Trojans.

Recruiting. These are always interesting times.

“It is an intense and delicate process” was what John Johnson had to say today about how hard this decision will prove to be for his son.

Georgia continues to come at him with the might of Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter pulling in a tug-of-war challenge with those mighty Gators here. The goal is to pull him back from Cali to Georgia to play for his home state on Saturdays.

“They have laid out how he fits into their defensive schemes,” Johnson said. “His commitment is a big deal to Georgia.”

The key thing here is to show. Not just tell. Not just sell.

Georgia did that on Saturday. There was a recent discussion on the DawgNation Daily program with Brandon Adams which reflected how hard the gameday visit seating chart arrangements have been for Georgia of late.

Think of a Kennedy-Kardashian wedding. Then double it.

Priority visitors get the first two or three rows. 5-star S Kamari Wilson and his family got an entire front row on Saturday for his official visit. Arch Manning (5-star junior QB) and Enai White (Class of 2022 All-American DE) got the front row treatment for South Carolina earlier this year.

Williams was in the front row for Arkansas. All-American Georgia DL commit Tyre West was also there. Those two have dreamed of playing together on Saturdays with All-American DT Christen Miller for a few years now.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Hardaway High standout chose to be in Athens on Saturday for the atmosphere of a top 10 matchup.

“I really wanted to see how they would hold up against Arkansas because they were top 10 ranked and a good team,” Williams said. “I wanted to catch a good game.”

How did he think the Bulldogs did?

“They dominated,” Williams said while laughing.

Williams watched the edges of the Georgia defense attack the Razorbacks.

“I watch both edges because I know at Georgia one of those guys is the ‘Jack’ and the other guy is like the defensive end,” Williams said.

What did he like best about this gameday trip?

“Well, there’s a lot there,” he said again with a laugh. “There is a lot I liked but really what I liked best was the crowd and how active they were for an early game.”

Williams saw a sign on social media from the crowd. It was for another 5-star DL at the game. That was a group of fans that said they wanted Bear Alexander to recommit to the program. He spotted the “We Want Bear” sign first and then pointed it out to Alexander.

“I was trying to find it in the crowd but I couldn’t see it,” Williams said.

Williams spoke with Kirby Smart both before and after the game.

“He said I could come in at Georgia, find a role and be good early at Georgia, too,” he said.

How does he feel about UGA after this visit?

“I still like Georgia,” Williams said. “I’ve always liked Georgia. It is still the same for me.”

He said he has locked in his official visit to UGA for the Kentucky game on Oct. 16. He will also try to check out Alabama and Florida for games later this season. He’s not sure when on both of those.

Because of the NCAA rules for official visits after a coaching change, he will also take advantage of the opportunity to take another official to USC. That will occur sometime after his senior season.

He wrapped up 17 sacks as a junior. The 5-star DL at Hardaway High in Columbus estimated he has 12 sacks in five games so far in 2021. That speaks to where his immediate worth would be at UGA early on if the Bulldogs manage the flip.

Williams could be an effective situational pass rusher early in his UGA career.

“I am not going to lie,” he said. “Georgia is coming hard. Real hard. They are coming as hard as they can for me. They are going all out like that and honestly, I’m like ‘Wow’ with how hard they are pushing. It is kind of stunning. They are definitely giving their 110 percent.”

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5-star DL Mykel Williams felt he received first-class treatment at UGA on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, for the Arkansas game. It seemed like it was an official visit, but he tells DawgNation he has now locked in his official visit for the Kentucky game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

Mykel Williams: What keeps him committed to USC

Where is he at right now with the things he needs to figure out for his future?

“You know that is a great question,” Williams said while not going into great detail to answer that.

Did Georgia help itself on Saturday?

“They showed me more things about Georgia,” Williams said. “More things about the program and the chance to play there that I didn’t already know.”

He said Georgia All-American LB commitment Jalon Walker worked him pretty hard this weekend. West stayed on him. 5-star Malaki Starks also played that stay home and dominate card, too.

“They all brought up the fact we could all go there and really build a dynasty at Georgia,” Williams said. “They were saying I could stay home and help the crib be great. They said we could be a dynasty at Georgia.”

Williams felt Georgia’s defense was going to be pretty lethal this year. But maybe not to this extent.

He doesn’t want to take too many more visits. He was thinking about seeing Florida very soon. Alabama’s schedule doesn’t really set up all that well for him in the short term.

“I’m also saving my last official visit for USC,” Williams said.

The 2022 All-American Bowl selection does recognize his process will be challenging. The fact that USC’s head coaching search is uncertain and will still need to take place is a missing element.

“I’ve really been trying to focus on my senior season,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of big games coming up so I am really trying to lock into them.”

What keeps him committed to USC right now? Is it loyalty?

“Yeah, part of it is that,” Williams said. “Then the relationship I have with [USC defensive line[ coach Vic So’oto and how he continuously shows me that what he is teaching works. He just has to have the right pieces of the puzzle to put it all into effect. It is all going to come together in the end for them, though.”

He said he speaks with So’oto about two or three times per day via all forms of communication.

“If coach Vic is not at USC, I don’t think I will even be talking about that school right now,” he said.

To be clear, he is committed to USC for more than So’oto. That assistant coach is just a big piece of the puzzle of what keeps him pledged to USC for the time being.

“I still do have great relationships with all of the guys at SC,” he said. “I like all of the guys over there. Vic [So’oto] and [4-star QB commit] Devin [Brown] and [interim head coach] Donte [Williams] and [director of high school relations] Armand [Hawkins Jr.] and all of them. They are major pieces. If one of them was to go, it would probably sink the ship.”

What will his decision come down to?

“It is going to come down to where I feel I can be the best at,” he said.

What did the Bulldogs show him in regard to that notion on Saturday?

“They showed me that I could come here and be in a position to make plays early,” he said.

Check out this picture below. He was asked what was going through his mind at times while watching the Bulldogs play on Saturday.

5-star DL Mykel Williams had a big visit to UGA on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, for the Arkansas game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

“I was just like ‘Hey, these boys are dominant’ and ‘Can’t nobody move the ball or score on them’ and that’s really what I was thinking that the whole game,” Williams said. “When Arkansas really started running their trick plays and stuff, I was like it was over. Because they got away from their offense. They got out of their playbook and I was just like ‘This game is about done now’ when I saw that. It is kind of hard to move the ball when you have the players they have got and the schemes they run.”

5-star DL Mykel Williams had a big visit to UGA on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, for the Arkansas game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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What sticks out about UGA to Mykel Williams now?

When Mykel visited Georgia over the summer, he got to work out. He even surprised Kirby Smart by how fast he was in his on-field drill work.

But the thing that stood out to him then was the people at UGA. The coaches. Not just the defensive coaches. The hard-working staff in the recruiting office. It was all of those personalities and happy faces.

That has not changed. But now there is more to consider.

“The same thing,” he said. “But now it is the people, the fans in the stands and the atmosphere. The defensive players, the schemes they run and the way it all plays out on the field. The fit. All of it.”

Williams did see UGA as an up-and-coming recruit in 2019. The volume of the pitch is just dialed way up now. His primary recruiters remain area recruiter Dell McGee and defensive coordinator Dan Lanning.

“They tell me to just come to be great at Georgia,” Williams said.

That front-row seat did come to him as a surprise.

“I didn’t know that was a big deal,” he said. “I just thought that was just a seat.”

He said all the pieces at UGA do fit what he is looking for.

“Yeah, I have to say they do,” Williams said. “That’s with all the guys who are going there that I am good friends with. I’m friends with most of the players on the team.”

The terms “intense” and “delicate” do say a lot here without overdoing it.

5-star DL Mykel Williams had a big visit to UGA on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, for the Arkansas game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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