Courtney: What are Ducks getting in Trejon Williams?

The four-star safety is a strong tackler, dynamic playmaker, and turnover machine

Posted on March 26, 2021

Chris Courtney
  By Chris Courtney of WFOD for SportsPac12

As it relates to the Oregon football program, it’s not uncommon for a typical recruiting class to come and go with few, if any, commits hailing from within the state of Oregon. In fact, prior to the current 2022 recruiting cycle, there have been only two in-state recruits who have signed with the Ducks in the last three cycles in Keith Brown (2021) and Patrick Herbert (2019).

This year, however, could be much different in that regard. With Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic four-star linebacker and Oregon legacy Emar’rion Winston already verbally committed to the Ducks’ 2022 recruiting class, Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal has continued to mine the Portland metro area for recruiting gems, hitting pay dirt Friday afternoon with the verbal commitment of Portland (Ore.) Jefferson four-star safety Trejon Williams.

Ranked as the no. 2 overall prospect in the state of Oregon and the 11th-best safety nationally per 247Sports’ Composite Recruiting Rankings, Williams becomes the seventh member of the Ducks’ 2022 class and the second defensive back to verbally commit to Oregon this cycle, joining fellow four-star prospect Landon Hullaby.

Johnson

Despite getting a late start on its recruitment of Williams after former Jefferson head coach Don Johnson Jr. was hired in an off-field role, Oregon quickly emerged as a favorite for Portland product after an NCAA rule formerly prohibited schools in such instances from making recruiting pitches to prospects who formerly played for coaches who were currently on staff.

Having garnered a grand total of 18 offers to date, Williams’ verbal commitment to Oregon gives the Ducks the nation’s 17th-ranked recruiting class per 247Sports’ Composite Team Recruiting Rankings.

Below I take a closer look at Williams’ game, examining his weaknesses and strengths, as well as projecting how he may make an impact for the Ducks when he ultimately arrives on campus.


Notable weaknesses

• Good, not great size: Listed at an even 6-feet and 195 pounds, Williams has solid size for a potential future starting safety at the FBS level, but nothing that necessarily turns heads. The good news is that plenty of safeties with average height and weight have gone on to enjoy star-studded careers in college and the NFL, but if you’re looking for a player who is going to wow you on the hoof with his physical measurables, Williams isn’t necessarily that guy.

• Coverage skills need more polish: Much of the available film on Williams comes from his sophomore year, as COVID-19 spoiled the fall season for high school football in Oregon. With that said, I’d like to see a little more from Williams in terms of his ability to hold up consistently in coverage. That, however, may not come until he arrives in Eugene, as the competition he faces in the PIL isn’t the greatest measuring stick.


Notable strengths

• Quality ball skills: While I have some questions surrounding Williams’ all-around coverage skills, one thing that cannot be denied is his ability to locate the football in flight and make a play. With experience playing receiver at the prep level, Williams puts those skills on display when acting as a centerfielder patrolling the back end of a defense.

• Dynamic playmaker: As mentioned, Williams’ experience as a receiver serves him well on the defensive side of the ball. Not only does Williams possess enough range and athleticism to deflect passes and come away with interceptions, but he’s also quite dangerous with the ball in his hands. Could develop into a game-changing presence in the Duck defensive backfield a la Jevon Holland.

• Strong tackler: For all of his skills as a playmaker and turnover machine, Williams exudes physicality and sound tackling skills. Equipped with an enforcer’s mentality, Williams’ proficiency in this department should only continue to improve as his body continues to develop in Oregon’s strength and conditioning and nutrition program.


Overall outlook

The addition of Trejon Williams to Oregon’s 2022 recruiting class not only keeps one of the top prospects in the state of Oregon local, but also helps solidify the safety position in Eugene for the foreseeable future.

Winston

On the in-state recruiting front, Williams joins Winston to give the Ducks two of the state’s top four recruits in the 2022 recruiting cycle. That number could very well double by the time the finishing touches are put on the Ducks’ 2022 recruiting class, as Oregon is believed to be strong contenders for three-star edge defender Andrew Savaiinaea from The Dalles and the state’s no. 1 overall recruit in four-star wide receiver Darrius Clemons from Westview High School in Portland.

Throw in Oregon’s push for four-star wide receiver Tobias Merriweather from just across the Columbia River in Camas, Washington, and the Ducks’ 2022 class could have a distinct Pacific Northwest flavor that has not existed for quite some time.

As it relates to the safety position at Oregon, Williams looks to enter a situation in 2022 in which the Ducks should have no shortage of quality options at their disposal. In fact, fellow Portlander Jordan Happle is the only player who is guaranteed to depart from the safety group at the end of next season, leaving Williams to vie for reserve reps amongst youngsters such as Daymon DavidJeffrey Bassa, and Landon Hullaby.

Considering this, it should almost be expected that Williams redshirt his first year on campus before seeing his role potentially expand in 2023 and beyond.

This story also appears at wholeflockofducks.com and is syndicated with permission. Follow WFOD on Twitter @_WFOD and Chris Courtney @csquared02.




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