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Georgia Southern Adds Physical Presence in Caelan Williams

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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The 6-foot-7, 291-pound two-way lineman made his intentions known late Saturday evening with a tweet that simply read “Committed” with a photo of him in full Georgia Southern battle gear.

One of the great things about Georgia high school football is the fact that superior prospects can come from just about any school, regardless of classification or association. Prospects from the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) are sometimes overlooked by college recruiters since the bulk of elite players play in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).

As of this weekend there were three representatives in the class of 2019 that have verbally committed to FBS schools. Recently Savannah (Ga.) Memorial Day athlete Winston Wright chose West Virginia over 30 other suitors. Also making their intentions known where a pair of St. Simons Island (Ga.) Frederica Academy standouts, Jashawn Sheffield and Jaylin Simpson both gave commitments to Auburn.

Make that four as Georgia Southern picked up a commitment from Caelan Williams of Dublin (Ga.) Trinity Christian. The 6-foot-7, 291-pound two-way lineman made his intentions known late Saturday evening with a tweet that simply read “Committed” with a photo of him in full Georgia Southern battle gear. He chose the Eagles over East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Southeast Missouri State, Vanderbilt and UMass. He was also receiving heavy interest from Clemson and Tennessee.

“This young man, when you see his physical presence you automatically think about his potential at the next level,” said Trinity Head Coach Jimmy Fields. “Is he a bona fide DI prospect? Without a doubt, because of the person he has become, this young man is from such a great family. Some say he is a late bloomer, but that’s not the case. This young man just turned 17 years old which is similar to a lot of prospects in the class behind him.”

Being from the GISA, Williams knew making the rounds on the camp circuit would be imperative to his football future. This past spring/summer he camped at Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Tennessee and Vanderbilt while hitting satellite camps at Kennesaw State and Mercer.

Prior to his commitment, the two schools making the best pitches for his signature were Georgia Southern and Vanderbilt.

“Two coaches really stood out in the recruiting process; Georgia Southern Offensive Line Coach Ron Hudson and Vanderbilt Offensive Line Coach Cameron Norcross,” Williams said. “They both showed a lot of love and really just treated me right. They communicated through twitter especially on holidays. In the end Georgia Southern was the best fit for me and felt like home; I’m very excited for this phase of my life to start.”

Academically Williams sports a 3.5 GPA with a 24 on the ACT and 1040 on the SAT. He has yet to decide whether he will be taking either again.

Football is not the only sport that Williams participates in as he throws both the shot and discus for the Crusader Track Squad.  He is no slouch in the weight room either boasting a 330-pound bench max to go along with a 375-pound squat and 250-pound power clean. Williams is considering giving basketball a shot in his final year at Trinity Christian.

“Our last FBS signee from Trinity Christian was Colby Jackson who signed with North Carolina State back in 2008,” Fields said. “We have had plenty of DII and DIII kids and players that have been preferred walk-ons at FBS schools, but Caelan will be the first in my tenure at the school. Other than his size and length what sets him apart from the others is the foundation he has had. His family, teachers and teammates have helped to really develop Caelan into the person/prospect that he is today.”

Last season the Crusaders finished with a (7-4/3-1) and a trip to the first round of the GISA-AAA Playoffs. The previous year they were able to make it to the second round before bowing out, so you can imagine Williams’ senior season is one he would like to leave his mark on.

“I can get by with my height and long arms as a blocker, but I will have to continue to work on hip flexibility and improve the strength in my glutes,” Williams said. “I will also need to lead by example and help coach everyone up, especially the younger guys. I have to work hard and as a group we really need work our tails off throughout the entire season.”

College coaches not familiar with this leviathan lineman will be able to catch him in action September, 7 at rival Milledgeville (Ga.) John Milledge Academy. Williams will have his work cut out versus the Trojans as they have been shutout that last three meetings.

Another date recruiters should markdown is the road trip to St. Simons (Ga.) Frederica Academy on October, 12. This game will boast multiple FBS prospects.

Giant offensive tackle bodies are a rare commodity, one such that college coaches have been known to scramble for signatures from these behemoths all the way up to National Signing Day and sometimes beyond. With the commitment of Williams, Eagle fans should feel some comfort about the future of the program.