Polk County consistently produces some of the best players in Florida. For the class of 2022, one of the best players in Polk County hails from Lake Christian.
By Brian Smith @fbscout_florida
If you want to find good players in Florida, it’s not always as easy as walking into a power program’s home stadium. Florida is well known for its small-school talent. A great example took place last fall when Lakeland Christian hosted Tallahassee St. John Paul II during an early-season game.
While national recruit and now Alabama signee Terrion Arnold was supposed to be the best player on the field for St. John Paul II, it was another safety that made the most plays. As they say, “The eyes do not lie.” Arnold was and is a big-time player. No doubt. What that night provided, however, was a great look at Lakeland Christian’s budding star.
Idris Williams, S/RB, 6-1, 180, Lakeland (Lakeland Christian)
Long-Term College Position: strong safety and/or hybrid linebacker.
Offers: Utah, Eastern Michigan, Connecticut, Iowa State and West Virginia.
Best Football Attributes: diagnosing plays early, actually wrapping up a ball carrier instead of just leading with a shoulder, and an uncanny ability to navigate through traffic to find the football stand out.
Some players catch a scout’s attention with raw speed or pure power. Williams can certainly run and hit; that’s not in question. What makes Williams different than many other safety linebacker recruits would be his ability to make plays based on intelligence.
He’s consistently ahead of the blockers during screen plays, does not bite hard during play-action fakes, stays low within his back pedal, and resists the common theme of tackling with his shoulder and instead wraps up the ball carrier. These are the traits of a mentally well conditioned football player.
Because Williams plays safety, his knowledge will also be installed into other players. Within most defenses, the safety position helps to translate information to other defensive players. It’s rare to see such an intelligent player at this time of his career, but be assured that few safeties within the state of Florida possess the same level of steady decision making as Williams.
Just because Williams plays well on defense does not mean that the Lakeland Christian coaching staff leaves him on one side of the football. Yes, he’s best known for his 83 tackles and one sack from last season, but Williams can and will tote the football for the offense as well.
A nice forward lean and patience are two excellent attributes for Williams. He’s concise with his cuts and goes north-south when he sees daylight. While it’s most likely that Williams plays defense during his college career, he’s likely to see more carries and yards during his senior season than he did during his junior campaign.
Overall, Williams is one of Central Florida’s best football players. He deserves more attention from fans and college programs, and he’s further proof that many talented Florida high school football players still play at smaller schools.