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The Next Shamarko? New Jersey Safety Rodney Williams Commits to Syracuse

Syracuse received yet another defensive commitment to the Class of ’14 this weekend in safety Rodney Williams. The two-way star stands at 5’10”, 185 lbs., and plays both quarterback and defensive back for the Cherry Hill West Lions in New Jersey. He also stars on his basketball team, hitting the 1,000-point career mark last season. This latest commitment brings Scott Shafer’s new class up to five with potentially more on the way with Syracuse’s football camps wrapping up.

Williams also has offers from Buffalo and Temple but opted for the Orange. He earned an offer with an impressive camp performance on the Hill. While at camp, SU coaches saw his skills translate to safety. The Orange may ask him to make the switch for his senior year or at least play some at safety. Syracuse.com has also reported Pitt and Rutgers were interested in Williams but chose to go after bigger names instead.

While he’s only rated as a 2-star recruit by Rivals, Williams has plenty of raw talent but needs polishing. It would not be the first time in recent memory that has happened, as Shamarko Thomas was also a 2-star recruit in ’09 and now has a job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. #SHAMARKO was an under the radar talent with offers from Louisville, Marshall, Old Dominion and Richmond. He chose the Orange and developed into a terrific safety that could play at the next level. Could Williams do the same? The gates should also be open for Williams to compete for playing time depending on players emerging this season for the Orange.

A hidden gem of the Jersey product is his kick returning abilities. Williams has above-average speed and has moves in space. Being able to contribute on special teams would give Williams another chance to get on the field. Williams has a great skill set, but could use very good coaching. He also plans on bulking up this offseason for the safety position. It also helps to pluck talent away from a state where Rutgers has had a lock down, especially in the metro area.

While Williams is rated as a 2-star recruit, he still has a full season to rise up in the rankings and prove his offer is worthwhile. The SU coaches saw him up close and liked what they were watching. Now he has a chance to be on the Hill full time.

Posted: Zephan Mayell

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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