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WR Justice Williams is a Husky!

Coach Shep gets his future WR1

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies have officially signed one of their top offensive recruits in their 2024 class when 4-star WR Justice Williams sent in his letter of intent.

The 6’4” and 195 lb WR out of California’s Oaks Christian HS was another late-rising prospect that the staff identified well ahead of other competing programs. Despite possessing an impressive frame, high end athletic traits, NFL bloodlines (his dad played TE for the Raiders), and playing for a prominent California HS program, Coach Shephard was the first coach to extend an offer to Williams back in April of this year. That early connection paid dividends as our staff was able to fend off other programs like Oregon, Utah, Michigan State, and Arizona to secure his commitment.

Looking ahead to his fit on Montlake, our staff has recruited him as our potential X-WR/WR1 of the future. Coach Shephard has placed an emphasis on size, contested catch ability, and raw athleticism in the recruits we’ve targeted at WR, and while we have mix of skill sets in the WR room right now, it seems like Williams is the ‘24 class’s version of Denzel Boston. Prior to his senior season, I broke down Williams’s tape to see where he’d fit within our WR corps:

Right off the bat, Williams stands out as a big-bodied wide receiver. Measuring in at 6’4” and 195 lbs, Williams would already be one of the biggest scholarship WRs (tied for tallest with Denzel Boston) in a position group that Shephard’s been stocking with bigger/faster athletes since he arrived. What’s more important than his pure size at WR is that Williams possesses a growing understanding of how to leverage his size advantage on the field. Lots of WRs play bigger and smaller than their size, and Williams is starting to play up to his size in contested catch situations. He does a good job making catches away from his body, elevating to the high point, and has strong hands through contact from what was shown on his hudl tape....

If I were to summarize Williams as a prospect with a comparison to another player, I’d say he reminds me of current UW WR Denzel Boston with shades of Rome Odunze. Like Boston when he was a HS player, Williams has the size and athletic upside that could be an intriguing X-WR down the road (outside to the boundary against CB1). However, neither Williams or Boston had the type of technical polish that elevated Odunze to blue chip recruit status. Boston’s traits and level of development serves as a reasonable benchmark, while Odunze represents a potential target for Williams’ continued growth and refinement. The early hype around Boston already shows that there’s a formula for developing WRs with traits into future stars once they get on campus with Shephard.

Looking at the bigger picture, Williams likely needs some time with Shephard to refine the more nuanced skills that go along with being a WR in our offense, particularly being able to play from different alignments. However, the upside is all there for Williams to get reps in niche roles early in his career. With Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillan, and Ja’Lynn Polk all potentially leaving the NFL draft after this season, there may be available reps on the perimeter for Williams to earn.

Husky fans, please welcome Justice Williams to Montlake!