Jayden Williams, a 3-star, 6’1, 195 pound athlete/running back from West Des Moines, Iowa, out of Valley High pledged his allegiance to the all mighty Powercat and Chris Klieman on the final day of January.
What He Brings to the Wildcats
Williams brings pain.
When he’s playing running back, he has the vision to run inside and the speed to bounce off tackle, but what stands out the most about Jayden is his violent running style and complete disdain for being tackled.
As you can see from his film, he like finishing runs. In fact, he finishes the same run multiple times with multiple defenders. I’m going to guess this guy has thighs the size of well shaped, peak summer watermelons, because he has no problem dragging an entire defensive huddle, including random assistant coaches, cheerleaders, students, and school administrators down the field. Most of the high school backs I watch try to avoid being tackled. Williams can do that, but he can also make the defender want to avoid tackling him when he gets low and punishes would be tacklers.
Another promising aspect of his tape is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Look, highlight films are just that, highlights, and it’s possible that his hands aren’t as good as his three catches indicate, but it does show a willingness to incorporate him into the passing game at the high school level. If he has the hands and the ability to run after the catch seen on his high school film, I think he’ll get a shot at running back.
He could also make an imposing outside linebacker. He would need to bulk up a little, but his violent running style and superior vision and instincts would also serve him well as a ball hawking outside linebacker. You can see from his running style that he’s not afraid to hit, and I can only imagine what it looks like when he’s the hitter and not the hit-ee (although he’s often the hitter in his running back film as well.
What This Means For the 2021 Class
The Kansas State recruiting juggernaut chugs on with another solid pick up. You can tell the coaching staff put a ton of work into the 2021 class last season, and they are reaping the rewards with a smoking hot start to the class.
The Wildcats currently have five commits and sit 11th nationally and 2nd in the Big 12. I wouldn’t bet the family farm on them staying in the Top 15, but with this start, finishing in the Top 25 is a possibility. That would be a small, but not insignificant miracle considering the level the Wildcats have recruited at over the last decade.
Williams’s ability to play on either side of the ball gives the coaching staff flexibility moving forward. I think he sticks at running back and gives the Coach Klieman a violent runner to pair with the two speed merchants he signed in the 2020. I also wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up playing linebacker. His speed and penchant for on field violence would be well suited for Coach Hazelton’s havoc inflicting defense.
Either way, it’s a big win for the coaching staff to get a versatile athlete from Iowa on board this early in the process.