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Alabama Stole Its Newest 4-Star Safety From LSU’s Backyard
Screenshot from YouTube

There’s no arguing that the best defensive backs are SEC products. LSU and Florida squabble every year about who the real “DBU” is, but deep dives have shown that title might actually belong to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Top high school recruits across the country are itching to play in this conference, and the same can be said for safeties and defensive backs. Jamal Adams, Minkah Fitzpatrick and so many more over the past decade can attest to that.

The 2021 recruiting class is no different. Top-100 names like quarterback Caleb Williams, defensive end Bryce Langston, wide receiver Mario Williams and running back TreVeyon Henderson are all posed to become college football’s next great batch of stars.

Kaine Williams was certainly part of that bunch.

Four-star safety Kaine Williams was rated the nation’s No. 11 safety and the state of Louisiana’s No. 7 player in the class of 2021 by 247Sports. The John Ehret High School (Marrero, La.) product could have chosen to play in-state for the LSU Tigers, but he decided to join the Alabama Crimson Tide to (probably) win a national championship or two.

S Kaine Williams Recruiting

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Williams fielded offers from 25 schools in total. With 24 offers in total. Programs like Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, Arkansas and Louisville all lined up for him.

The 6-foot-2 defensive back seemed intent on playing in the SEC West, because he narrowed his choice down to three schools: LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama.

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Williams was on campus at Alabama’s Junior Day on March 7 and visited LSU’s Junior Day in 2019. He took unofficial visits to the Crimson Tide and Aggies.

The top-100 recruiting prospect spoke highly of both LSU and Alabama. His hometown of Marrero is right outside of New Orleans.

“They always have a good program. It’s DBU,” Williams told 247Sports of LSU. “Coach Mickey is like family. I’m talking with him almost every day. (LSU safeties coach Bill Busch) is a nice guy. He’s smart and knows what he’s doing. I like how they come down to the ball and make plays on the ball in the air.”

Earlier in 2020, 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predicted Williams to end up in College Station. That changed quickly given his pledge to Alabama.

S Kaine Williams Commits to Alabama

Kaine Williams committed to the University of Alabama on May 15, 2020. He announced the news on his Twitter account.

Williams marked the fourth four-star recruit in the Crimson Tide’s 2021 recruiting class, though they added plenty more top recruits. Adding the Louisiana native also kept the talented safety from attending rival SEC West schools LSU and Texas A&M.

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Along with high-profile 2021 names like Camar Wheaton and Kendrick Blackshire, Williams arrived to Tuscaloosa in May 2021. Clearly, he was pretty excited about touching down on campus.

Williams has all the potential in the world, but he still has much to learn. However, his 205-pound frame could potentially help him see playing time even as a freshman.

Kaine Williams Highlights

It’s hard not to fall in love with a safety who stood 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds as a junior in high school. Williams has the height to challenge receivers in the SEC and still plenty of time to gain strength and speed.

In his junior season at John Ehret High School, he proved just how much of a ballhawk he is. His season highlights prove that but so do his statistics: four interceptions, 50 tackles, 10 pass break-ups and three forced fumbles. The year prior, he actually totaled two more interceptions and 23 more tackles.

Per his 247Sports evaluation, Williams is very versatile for a high school safety:

“Big-framed safety with good height and plenty of space to continue adding bulk in college. Instinctive in coverage. Patrols a lot of territory at the back end. Ballhawking safety who’s constantly around the ball. Provided terrific production as a sophomore (73 tackles, six interceptions). Dangerous with the ball and becomes a threat to score after the INT. Shows encouraging ability to break on the ball. Flashes impressive closing speed against the run. Generally delivers some pop upon arrival. Needs to improve consistency with tackling technique. Often a shoulder tackler instead of a wrap-up hitter. Will need to continue to fill out to maximize strength and close-quarters power. Owns strong safety frame potential but may better fit center field-type free safety role. Bona fide high-major prospect with long-term potential to reach top half of the NFL Draft.”

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There’s no telling how good he’ll be, but Williams was a major football recruiting pick-up for Nick Saban’s NCAA program. Plus, he chose the Tide over LSU despite hailing from Louisiana.

This post was originally published on March 23, 2020 but has been updated since.

MORE: Alabama Boosts Defense With 4-Star Linebacker From SEC Rival

Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras before spending two seasons writing for Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. He lives in South Florida but his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.
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