Following Ohio State's 38-10 victory on Saturday night against Penn State in which they debuted their new black alternate uniforms, they received a commitment the following morning from four-star running back Antonio Williams.
The former Wisconsin pledge adds depth to the 2016 running back class after George Hill decommitted from the Buckeyes last week. There are rumors of Kareem Walker, 247Sports' number one rated running back in the country, decommitting from Ohio State after visiting Michigan recently, as he plans to take all of his official visits.
For hypothetical's sake, let's see how two of the top seven running backs in the 2016 class would compliment each other in Urban Meyer's offense and how the two compare as running backs:
Walker stands at 6'1, 210 pounds and is already built like a three-down running back. He is a taller tailback comparable to ex-Alabama star T.J. Yeldon but runs with a low pad-level and has a muscular frame.
The New Jersey native possesses excellent vision, which allows him hit the hole quickly. He is more of a north-south runner who uses his mixture of vision and quickness to get to the second level in a hurry. At the second level, Walker has improved his patience as a runner and allows his blocks to set up. He does a great job at setting up the would-be tacklers in the second level for juke and spin moves, and he has the ability to quickly accelerate after he makes his initial move.
Walker is also a very physical runner who loves contact and punishes the engaged defender on the norm. He initiates contact and uses his muscular frame and low pad-level to run through the defender. He keeps his strong legs moving through the tackler and possesses excellent balance to gain extra yardage after contact.
In the mold of Ezekiel Elliott, Walker is the type of bell-cow runner who wears down a defense and gets stronger throughout the game. Hopefully the rumors are just that, and Walker stays committed to Ohio State. The bruising, three-down tailback is the complete package and he has the elite attributes to become an all-time great running back in Urban Meyer's downhill running scheme.
The 5'11, 210 pound running back rushed for 6,400 yards and 69 touchdowns during his first three seasons at North Stanly High School in North Carolina, and his senior year has not disappointed, as he has already rushed for over 1,847 yards and 20 touchdowns through six games.
Williams does not have elite high school competition, but his measurables and attributes will translate to the Big Ten as a bruising workhorse. He possesses excellent vision,which allows him to hit the hole quickly, breaking arm tackles, en route to the second level. He sets up his blockers and has a great jump cut that he often uses.
For a runner of his size, he has great acceleration after his jump cuts and jukes, which allows him to use his power against the smaller members of the secondary. Williams' lowers his pads and runs through defenders with aggression and physicality.
His quickness and acceleration shows up on tape but even though he has many, many long runs in high school, I do not think his straight line speed translates to the college level. It does not mean that he will not be successful, he will be, it is just that he will have trouble breaking long runs. I could see him having similar splits to Carlos Hyde's 2012 season, where he had 29 10-plus yard runs and only eight 20-plus yard runs on 185 carries.
Overall, Williams is a workhorse who can wear down defenses if he is the main running back, or he can be the closer type who can come in late and run over a tired defense.
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In a perfect world, these two runners could compliment each other in the future. The two would make for an Eddie Lacy- T.J. Yeldon-like combo, that would wreak havoc in the Big Ten for a few years. If Walker decides to leave, it will hurt, but the future at the position will remain bright.