American Heritage Head Coach Pat Surtain Discusses James Williams Commitment

American Heritage Head Coach Pat Surtain Discusses James Williams Commitment

Matthew Suero
The Miami Hurricanes got a commitment from one of the top-rated players in the country on Tuesday in 2021 American Heritage (FL) 5-star S James Williams. Williams’ head coach and former NFL cornerback Pat Surtain spoke with CIS to discuss what kind of player Miami is getting in his star pupil.

“Obviously the 6’5’’, 225 pounds, God-given athleticism, but I think the thing that separates him from other players is his football IQ. The kid is tremendously smart. He dissects plays before they happen and that allows him to make so many plays. He studies the game, he knows what is coming before it actually comes and that’s what separates the great players from the good players.”

Surtain and the rest of the staff are confident that they give Williams the instruction that he needs in the film room to be successful and he expects that to help Williams at the next level.

“I try to give him little pointers as far as formations and things to look for but, to be honest, it comes naturally to him. He’s a natural football junkie. He knows things via his film and his study habits. Also, how we prepare him without a defensive coordinator and our defensive coaches throughout the week. He always has an idea of what’s going on and that’s going to propel him on the next level because we run multiple defenses at Heritage and they are going to do the same thing at the next level. He will be well-prepared.”

One of the comparisons that people make for James Williams is to former Hurricanes star safety Sean Taylor, largely because of the similar build they have, and Surtain does not think that is an out of line assessment.

“James is the number one safety in the country. Obviously, rankings don’t tell the whole story, but at this particular age and level in high school, I think you can compare them. Sean Taylor is who he is and one of the best to ever do it but this kid has a chance, if he goes to UM, keeps his head down and works on his craft, I think he is definitely going to play on Sundays and has a chance to make a very good living.”

One of the biggest discussions that surround James Williams is where he will play at the college level. Surtain thinks that Williams can play wherever Miami puts him and that is why he is so special.

“I definitely think he can play safety. Early on in his career, maybe not, but after these last couple of years watching him and watching how he’s transformed his body, especially the workouts we’ve been having, I see a different person. He’s slimming down and his lateral quickness and his speed has actually increased. He could play the safety position. He could play the striker position that Gilbert Frierson has been playing. That’s what makes him so unique. He’s so versatile and he could do so many things to affect the game. I know UM coaches are going to find a fit for him to move him around because he can do so many things. He can blitz off the edge, he can cover tight ends, he can cover deep middle. That’s what makes him so special, his versatility.”

It was no secret that Georgia was considered the heavy-favorite to land Williams ever since he decommitted from Miami. Surtain gave us some insight into what moved Williams away from the Bulldogs and made him want to stick with the hometown team instead.

“He was really high on Georgia early on, but as you know things change and situations change. The situation we are in now, nobody ever would have imagined that this would happen with COVID and everything. Thing’s change, situations change, kids change their minds, they become really reflective and have a better understanding of the recruiting game, and then there are certain things that you just can’t pass up. I think him being at home, being around family, a promise that he made to some people, he knows his ‘Why’ and his ‘Why’ is at UM. From a football aspect, the kid was going to be great no matter where he went. Miami was just a special place for him and he will be able to live out his lifelong dream in front of family and friends.”

While the on-field coaches and the recruiting staff did a great job and deserve a ton of credit, Surtain made it known that Ed Reed made an impact in the recruitment and sees him playing a role in the development of Williams once he arrives at Miami.

“I think that definitely has an impact just seeing Ed around the building and seeing his face. I’m not sure how much he can do on the field, but the thing that made Ed special was his knowledge of the game. I think he's going to bring that to the table with the guys. He’s a tremendous athlete and one of the best to ever do it, if not the best, at the safety position. He’s going to bring that personality and that business approach back to ‘The U’ that they were lacking. He will have those boys ready to go. I know he will be in their ears. He's going to be a big part of the program so that definitely had an impact on his decision.”

Miami has been on a tear on the recruiting trail recently, and Surtain thinks that Williams committing will only add to the momentum and help Miami out with some other big-time pieces.

“The kid has so much charisma and he is a natural born leader. He affects locker rooms and people gravitate towards him because he has such a magnetic personality. I just think that UM is loading up. To add a guy like James to the guys that they already have, they are getting back to having what we expect from the University of Miami. He’s definitely going to bring people along. That’s one of the pieces that they were waiting to fall for other guys to jump on board. He committed, he's happy, I’m happy for him, and the sky's the limit for him from now on.”

American Heritage does not allow players to graduate early, so Williams will have to wait until May to enroll. For now, he will focus on helping American Heritage get another state championship.

 

Comments (53)

What an absolutely massive get. The thought of who he could bring along with him in this class is really exciting. Having a good season on the field this year and carrying this momentum could really be what we need to get this program back on track.
 
Learning from ER I’m sure was a powerful allure to JWill. That and repping for the 305, there’s no wrong in that at all. Kids going to be a special one for us indeed!!!!
 
Massive get, social media is blowing up with all these recruits tweeting about his commitment. He's gonna be a huge recruiter for us.
 
... Miami has been on a tear on the recruiting trail recently, and Surtain thinks that Williams committing will only add to the momentum and help Miami out with some other big-time pieces.

“The kid has so much charisma and he is a natural born leader. He affects locker rooms and people gravitate towards him because he has such a magnetic personality. I just think that UM is loading up. To add a guy like James to the guys that they already have, they are getting back to having what we expect from the University of Miami. He’s definitely going to bring people along. That’s one of the pieces that they were waiting to fall for other guys to jump on board. He committed, he's happy, I’m happy for him, and the sky's the limit for him from now on.”
...
I like this part the most
 
I thought he transferred to Western for the reason of enrolling early? When did he go back to American Heritage?
 
The Miami Hurricanes got a commitment from one of the top-rated players in the country on Tuesday in 2021 American Heritage (FL) 5-star S James Williams. Williams’ head coach and former NFL cornerback Pat Surtain spoke with CIS to discuss what kind of player Miami is getting in his star pupil.

“Obviously the 6’5’’, 225 pounds, God-given athleticism, but I think the thing that separates him from other players is his football IQ. The kid is tremendously smart. He dissects plays before they happen and that allows him to make so many plays. He studies the game, he knows what is coming before it actually comes and that’s what separates the great players from the good players.”

Surtain and the rest of the staff are confident that they give Williams the instruction that he needs in the film room to be successful and he expects that to help Williams at the next level.

“I try to give him little pointers as far as formations and things to look for but, to be honest, it comes naturally to him. He’s a natural football junkie. He knows things via his film and his study habits. Also, how we prepare him without a defensive coordinator and our defensive coaches throughout the week. He always has an idea of what’s going on and that’s going to propel him on the next level because we run multiple defenses at Heritage and they are going to do the same thing at the next level. He will be well-prepared.”

One of the comparisons that people make for James Williams is to former Hurricanes star safety Sean Taylor, largely because of the similar build they have, and Surtain does not think that is an out of line assessment.

“James is the number one safety in the country. Obviously, rankings don’t tell the whole story, but at this particular age and level in high school, I think you can compare them. Sean Taylor is who he is and one of the best to ever do it but this kid has a chance, if he goes to UM, keeps his head down and works on his craft, I think he is definitely going to play on Sundays and has a chance to make a very good living.”

One of the biggest discussions that surround James Williams is where he will play at the college level. Surtain thinks that Williams can play wherever Miami puts him and that is why he is so special.

“I definitely think he can play safety. Early on in his career, maybe not, but after these last couple of years watching him and watching how he’s transformed his body, especially the workouts we’ve been having, I see a different person. He’s slimming down and his lateral quickness and his speed has actually increased. He could play the safety position. He could play the striker position that Gilbert Frierson has been playing. That’s what makes him so unique. He’s so versatile and he could do so many things to affect the game. I know UM coaches are going to find a fit for him to move him around because he can do so many things. He can blitz off the edge, he can cover tight ends, he can cover deep middle. That’s what makes him so special, his versatility.”

It was no secret that Georgia was considered the heavy-favorite to land Williams ever since he decommitted from Miami. Surtain gave us some insight into what moved Williams away from the Bulldogs and made him want to stick with the hometown team instead.

“He was really high on Georgia early on, but as you know things change and situations change. The situation we are in now, nobody ever would have imagined that this would happen with COVID and everything. Thing’s change, situations change, kids change their minds, they become really reflective and have a better understanding of the recruiting game, and then there are certain things that you just can’t pass up. I think him being at home, being around family, a promise that he made to some people, he knows his ‘Why’ and his ‘Why’ is at UM. From a football aspect, the kid was going to be great no matter where he went. Miami was just a special place for him and he will be able to live out his lifelong dream in front of family and friends.”

While the on-field coaches and the recruiting staff did a great job and deserve a ton of credit, Surtain made it known that Ed Reed made an impact in the recruitment and sees him playing a role in the development of Williams once he arrives at Miami.

“I think that definitely has an impact just seeing Ed around the building and seeing his face. I’m not sure how much he can do on the field, but the thing that made Ed special was his knowledge of the game. I think he's going to bring that to the table with the guys. He’s a tremendous athlete and one of the best to ever do it, if not the best, at the safety position. He’s going to bring that personality and that business approach back to ‘The U’ that they were lacking. He will have those boys ready to go. I know he will be in their ears. He's going to be a big part of the program so that definitely had an impact on his decision.”

Miami has been on a tear on the recruiting trail recently, and Surtain thinks that Williams committing will only add to the momentum and help Miami out with some other big-time pieces.

“The kid has so much charisma and he is a natural born leader. He affects locker rooms and people gravitate towards him because he has such a magnetic personality. I just think that UM is loading up. To add a guy like James to the guys that they already have, they are getting back to having what we expect from the University of Miami. He’s definitely going to bring people along. That’s one of the pieces that they were waiting to fall for other guys to jump on board. He committed, he's happy, I’m happy for him, and the sky's the limit for him from now on.”

American Heritage does not allow players to graduate early, so Williams will have to wait until May to enroll. For now, he will focus on helping American Heritage get another state championship.

Job well done once again Matthew Suero
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL
WR
5'11"
160
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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