University of Miami

Miami Hurricanes beat out SEC powers to add elite defensive end to 2020 recruiting class

Throughout much of their recruitments, Chantz Williams and Jalen Rivers suggested they might be a package deal when picking a college. They both backed off such an idea this year, but their original plans have worked out. Williams, a four-star defensive end from Orange Park Oakleaf, is following his teammate to the Miami Hurricanes.

Williams announced his oral commitment to Miami on Saturday with a post on Twitter.

“I would like to thank all of my family and close friends who have been able to assist and guide me to make this decision,” Williams wrote, “especially my mother who has made me her number one priority my entire life!”

Williams’ pledge comes a little more than a month after Rivers, a four-star tackle from Oakleaf, committed to the Hurricanes’ Class of 2020. Rivers is the No. 22 player in Florida, according to the composite rankings. Williams is the No. 12 player and the No. 85 overall prospect in the nation.

Miami made up ground late in Williams’ recruitment to land a defensive lineman viewed as prototypical for coach Manny Diaz’s defense. Although the Hurricanes were one of the earliest schools to heavily recruitment him, Williams announced a top three of the Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs and LSU Tigers in June, just a little more than a week after Rivers picked Miami. Williams, however, told reporters at The Opening finals in Frisco, Texas, last month that the Hurricanes had reentered the mix to land his commitment.

Less than a month later, Williams made his decision, choosing to stay in state and finishing off the package deal with Rivers so many once expected.

Williams, who is on track to early enroll, has the look of exactly the sort of defensive lineman the Hurricanes value most. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound senior topped the list of defensive linemen in athletic testing at The Opening and he already holds the Black Knights’ all-time career blocks record in boys’ basketball. As a junior, Williams racked up 22 tackles for loss, nine sacks and two forced fumbles to help Oakleaf reach the postseason. The elite prospect ran a 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds at The Opening Orlando regional in February. His wingspan has been measured at 80 inches.

Williams is the 22nd player to join Miami’s 2020 class and the 15th from Florida. He becomes the second highest ranked player in the class behind only five-star running back Don Chaney Jr. and he gives the Hurricanes their first blue-chip defensive end. Miami also holds commitments from three-star defensive ends Quentin Williams, Elijah Roberts and Tre’von Riggins, although the latter two could wind up moving inside to go with Willie Moise, a four-star defensive tackle from Chaminade-Madonna.