USC football recruiting: Mykel Williams, five-star defensive lineman in 2022 class, commits to Trojans

USC and coach Clay Helton rebounded from a dismal 2020 recruiting class with the No. 7 overall haul in the Class of 2021. That momentum seems to be continuing into the 2022 cycle. 

The Trojans landed a huge commitment on Tuesday from five-star defensive lineman Mykel Williams. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder from Hardaway High School in Columbus, Georgia, chose to go out west over offers from multiple SEC schools including Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

“One the coaching staff, I love the coaching staff,” Williams said, via 247Sports. “I have a great connection with the whole coaching staff. Two, the players on the team, they want to be great and want to win and do something big. Three the fans and the atmosphere, it’s electric. Every time I talk about USC on Twitter and Instagram it just feels great.”

Williams, the sixth-ranked defensive lineman in the country and has the skills to make an immediate impact in Los Angeles. Andrew Ivins, Southeast recruiting analyst for 247Sports, provided this scouting report on the newest USC commit.

“A scheme-versatile big man with a projectable frame and one of the longest verified reaches out of any blue-chip prospect in the class of 2022. Carries 265 pounds almost like it’s 245 pounds. Could get up to 280 pounds or more once eating at a college training table, if desired. The type of defensive lineman that just finds ways to impact games. Gets downhill in a hurry and doesn’t waste many – if any – steps. Ability to move laterally allows him to cross the face of blockers and work his way up and down the line scrimmage. More than capable of muscling his way through contact and into the backfield with his above-average play strength, at least at the high school level. Doesn’t give up on many plays and frequently makes stops outside of the hashes. 

“Has learned a few pass-rushing moves, but could always expand the menu. Elite testing numbers also suggest that he could find a little more juice when it counts. Produced as a sophomore and then again as a junior totaling a combined 39 tackles for loss and 29 sacks those two seasons. Has been utilized here and there as a stand-up edge player, but likely to settle in as a three or five-technique in college. Far from a complete product, but has a chance to develop into an all-conference type of player at the Power 5 level that makes things difficult for opposing quarterbacks given his reach. NFL upside.”

Williams’ commitment is huge for a USC recruiting class that already has a strong foundation. He is the second, five-star pledge in the class along with cornerback Domani Jackson. That class, which has seven total commitments, now ranks No. 22 in the country and second in the Pac-12 in the updated 247Sports team recruiting rankings. 

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