Though most high school students are enjoying their last few months of their senior year, cornerback Marcus Williamson is already enrolled at Ohio State and is participating in winter conditioning.
The second commit in the 2017 class, Williamson joined the Buckeyes as an early enrollee on Jan. 9. Williamson graduated early from IMG Academy in Florida, but the 5’9 cornerback is originally from Ohio where he at one point attended Westerville South High School in Ohio before transferring.
The only knock on the four-star could be questions about his size. Though 5’9 isn’t ridiculously small, there are some bigger corners on the roster. However, over his career, Williamson has proved that size isn’t an issue. IMG Academy is notorious for playing one of the toughest high school schedules in the country and Williamson fared well playing against some of the top prep teams in the nation over the past couple seasons.
Playing both sides of the ball for IMG Academy, Williamson proved to be a threat with the ball in his hands too, even though he’s defense all the way in college. He also impressed at The Opening where he ran a 4.45 40, 4.09 shuttle run, and recorded a vertical jump of nearly 35 inches.
Williamson was considered the 195th overall prospect in the class of 2017, according to the 247Sports Composite, and his other notable offers included LSU, Michigan, Miami (FL), and Notre Dame.
By enrolling early, Williamson will have a shot at early playing time as Ohio State saw a max exodus with three defensive backs leaving for the NFL draft. With Denzel Ward expected to grab one of the starting cornerback spots, Williamson will work to earn playing time opposite of Ward or even at the nickelback spot next fall.
Aside from winning a starting spot, he’s ready to win championships:
Marcus Williamson is smaller in stature than the majority of this class (5’9”, 180 lbs) but he has ball skills and quickness that will eventually allow him to see the field. He also plays bigger than his height and shows physicality at the line of scrimmage.
In pass coverage, Williamson’s attributes scream nickel cornerback at Ohio State. He has the quickness to lineup in the slot against quicker receivers and does well in press coverage. He has great instincts and his ball skills are also above average. His ability to flip his hips is uncanny and shows flashes of straight line speed. Williamson is tough to block, not from a physical standpoint, but from a quickness standpoint. Like the other corners, he performs well in run support and does not shy away from contact.
Thus, even though his size is limited, the IMG product plays bigger than his listed size and has quickness and speed to burn. With the talent at the cornerback position at a premium, he will likely redshirt, but he is definitely a future contributor in the slot. — Christopher Jason