Class of 2011

Kevin Williams

HometownHolland, OH
High schoolSpringfield High School

When NU recruit Kevin Williams bumps into hometown acquaintances during the next couple of weeks, he’s not planning to tirelessly explain his reasons for choosing Nebraska.

If they’ve been paying attention to college football lately, Williams said, they already should know why he plans to play defensive tackle for the Huskers over Michigan and Ohio State.

So Williams, of Holland, Ohio, isn’t expecting to get too many odd looks once the community realizes that he’s leaving Big Ten country for Nebraska.

“People might kid and talk about all the cornfields or whatever, but everybody knows that the decision I made is a no-brainer,” Williams said. “Definitely a good decision. Everybody knows what Nebraska’s doing.”

Williams was leaning Nebraska’s way for some time. The Huskers were the first school to offer the 6-foot-2, 275-pound tackle — most likely because of the often-profitable Ohio ties on Nebraska’s staff. Williams’ coach at Springfield High School, Vince Marrow, is from Youngstown, Ohio, the same hometown of NU coaches Bo and Carl Pelini. Marrow, who coached tight ends for the Omaha Nighthawks in 2010, alerted NU when Williams began to show promise.

Dave Connelly, Springfield's former coach, agreed with Marrow's praise of Williams.

“He’s the best lineman I’ve ever seen at our place in 25 years," Connelly said. "When Kevin wants to go, nobody can stop him.” rates Williams as the nation’s No. 36 defensive tackle. placed him 39th, and ESPN rates him as the No. 20 player at his position.

Committed to Nebraska since last April and enrolled for the spring semester after graduating early from high school, Williams appears intent on starting his college career well. He was the Division II defensive player of the year in Ohio and recorded 111 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior.

Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin pursued Williams, sweetening the Huskers’ recruiting score. Oregon and Stanford also offered him.

Our take: Some questions exist over Williams’ height. But even if he’s not quite as tall as listed, he looks like a solid fit for the Huskers’ defensive system. Williams is powerful and ready to capitalize on his leverage. Considering Nebraska’s ability to develop interior linemen, he made a good choice among the Big Ten schools that went after him.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Wadsworth/The Blade

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