E.J. Williams has plenty of room to grow in the weight room and has a lot to learn as a true freshman for Clemson. But overall, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound wide receiver had an excellent first spring with the Tigers and turned heads while showing off his talent throughout their nine spring practices.
“E.J., seems like every day he makes a play,” head coach Dabo Swinney said following the team’s scrimmage on March 11, which turned out to be its final practice of the spring. “He just flashes about every day.”
Williams, a four-star recruit and consensus top-125 national prospect coming out of high school, looked like a carbon copy of Clemson junior wideout Justyn Ross according to offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.
“EJ is another guy that’s very, very fluid,” he said. “Still a lot to learn, but you can tell … I mean, it’s almost a spitting image of Ross – probably a step faster than Ross from what I can tell, from what I’ve seen.”
Elliott isn’t the only one who noticed the similarities between Ross and Williams, who just so happen to be close friends and were teammates at Central High School in Phenix City, Ala.
“He’s good, man. He’s going to be really good,” senior receiver Amari Rodgers said. “He kind of reminds me of Ross. They came from the same school and they grew up together, so they kind of have the same skillset. It’s kind of weird, but he’s going to be special. He’s definitely got to work on putting weight on, but that comes with every freshman that comes in. But he’s out here making plays all over the field, so I’m excited to see what he turns into.”
Over his final two years at Central, Williams recorded 84 catches for 1,407 yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 16.8 yards per catch and a touchdown every 4.4 receptions in that span.
Senior receiver Cornell Powell sees a bright future ahead for Williams as well having witnessed his work ethic and hunger to comprehend the offense.
“He’s very fast, he plays hard and he’s eager to learn the playbook,” Powell said. “He’s always asking questions, always engaged and I really think that’s going to help him out in the long run. He’s definitely going to be a very pivotal player in our program.”
Sophomore wideout Joseph Ngata was impressed by Williams this spring, too, and looks forward to seeing what Williams looks like by the time he suits up for his first game with the Tigers.
“He’s explosive, real fast, picks up a lot easily,” Ngata said. “So, I’m liking him and liking how he’s sticking his nose in the playbook, trying to get better and just trying to soak up everything. So, really happy for him and really ready to see him play.”
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