18. JORDAN WILLIAMS, 6-5, 240 DE GAINESVILLE, FLA [GAINESVILLE HS]
Ratings: Rivals 3* No. 42 strongside defensive end, Scout 3* No. 45 defensive end , ESPN 3* No. 61 defensive end, 247 3*. Chose UT over Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, NC State, South Florida and Vanderbilt .
Looking back: Williams provided depth along the defensive front in nine games last season, registering four tackles and a sack, which came against Buffalo. He looked very good in that game, but the rest of the time, he looked like a lost freshman trying to gain reps and a better understanding of the defense. Blessed with a nice size-speed combo, the University of Florida legacy chose UT over a host of major offers, including the Gators who offered late once Will Muschamp replaced Urban Meyer. Still, Williams chose the Vols along with teammate Trevarris Saulsberry, and though he didn't do much his freshman year, UT is expecting big things from him in the future.
Looking forward: I actually listed Williams as one of my three favorite commits from last year's class, and though he didn't have the immediate impact I'd hoped, I'm not backing off the belief that I still think he can be a dynamic pass-rushing force for the Vols. We didn't get a very large sample set from him last year, and he is one of the players I wanted Derek Dooley to play more when UT wasn't generating much of a pass rush, but another year in the weight room will do him good.
Final projection: I hoped he'd be a Jacques Smith type, but after Smith's awful sophomore season last year, I'm simply hoping Williams [and Smith] live up to their massive potential. He has an SEC body, and another year lifting weights and learning Justin Wilcox's complex scheme, and I think he'll be firmly in the rotation next year. I believe Williams will be a two-year starter at UT before his career is over.