The thought of playing college football never crossed the mind of Ryan Williams two years ago.
In fact, the Shadow Creek (Texas) High School senior hadn’t given much attention at all to his post-graduation plans.
“I didn’t know what I was really going to do,” he said.
An encouraging father and motivating coaches helped Williams mature physically and mentally, however, and now he’s eager to become a Colorado Buffalo. Last Friday, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive lineman, who has a 3-star rating from 247Sports.com, became the latest prep prospect to verbally commit to CU for the 2021 recruiting class.
“It was a stress reliever,” said Williams, who is on track to become the first in his family to play college football. “It was very exciting for my family and me and my friends. We had a whole big party.”
Committing to CU was worth a celebration because of how far Williams has come in the past few years.
Inspired by his older brother, Williams played youth football, but he was a short kid at that point. He had a growth spurt before eighth grade, however, and said he stopped playing and became lazy.
“I just lost interest and my dad said I can really do something with my height, so I might as well make it worth it,” he said. “I’m trash at basketball so I chose football.”
He played as a freshman, but admitted, “I wasn’t really feeling football and I was not caring and not coming to practice.”
Before his sophomore year, that changed, as he got with a trainer and was pushed by Shadow Creek defensive line coach Kevin Drones – whose oldest son, Kyron, is Shadow Creek’s quarterback, recently committing to Baylor.
“They really get all the lazy and childishness out of me,” Williams said. “My trainer really got that out of me and when Drones got out there, he really got it out of me. He wasn’t playing those games.
“They felt like I had potential in me and they just felt like I could go somewhere and do something instead of sitting on my butt all day … and not doing anything active. They did extra work with me in the summer. Then I had the older guys helping me. Then I just learned how to do it on my own and stop being lazy.”
About a year ago, Williams began to realize he had potential to play beyond high school and in 2019, he helped the Sharks go 16-0 and win the Class 5A Division I championship.
Williams got his first Division I scholarship offer from Texas Southern on May 27 and then got an offer from CU two days later. Several other schools have expressed interest.
“I’m amazed and all my coaches are amazed at how much I’ve grown since freshman year.
Williams is still growing and could potentially play several spots on the Buffs’ defensive line.
“(CU defensive line coach Chris Wilson) thinks I can play all over,” Williams said. “But it really don’t matter. Whenever he wants to put me, I’ll do my best.”
Although he hasn’t been to CU, Williams said he and his family loved the virtual visit he had with the Buffs. They were impressed with the athletic and academic aspects of CU, as well as the relationships he’s developing with the Buffs.
“The main thing was they treated me like family,” Williams said.
Williams is the ninth player to commit to CU for 2021 and the third defensive lineman, joining end Allan Baugh (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and tackle Tyas Martin (Jacksonville, Ark.).
Defensive lineman Jordan Berry, who signed with the Buffs in December, was denied admission to school, according to CU, and he will not join the team this year. … With Berry no longer on the roster, the Buffs have a projected 83 scholarship players this year, two below the NCAA maximum of 85.
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